4 IAF pilots will undergo training in Russia for manned space mission Gaganyaan: K Sivan

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Picture courtesy to livemint

Four pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be trained in Russia for training as astronauts of Gaganyaan, the first Indian crewed flight to space. Making the announcement at Bengaluru ISRO Chairman K Sivan said they have been shortlisted after a series of fitness and endurance tests. The training of astronauts will begin in the third week of January in Russia. Gaganyaan is a crewed orbital spacecraft intended to send astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days by 2022 as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The initial tests were conducted in the IAF’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine at Bengaluru and Russia. The four will leave in the third week of January to be trained at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre in Moscow, as per an agreement signed between the space agencies of the two countries last year, Dr Sivan added. He also disclosed that Mission Chandrayaan-3 has been approved by the government and it is expected to be launched in 2020 by ISRO. Objectives include to make India a low-cost space power. The Chandrayaan-3 mission will have a lander and a rover, but not an orbiter. The Chandrayaan-2 mission in September last successfully deployed a lunar orbiter that relays scientific data back to earth but was unable to place a rover on the lunar surface after a “hard” landing. Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will provide data for 7 years. Land acquisition for a new spaceport in Tuticorin has been initiated, Sivan said. Chandrayaan 2 mission was planned to land on the south pole of the moon where no other lunar mission had gone before. The region is believed to contain water as craters in the region are largely unaffected by the high temperatures of the sun. ISRO had hoped to confirm the presence of water in the form of ice, first detected on its mission in 2008. (picture courtesy to livemint)

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