On Thursday, Indian Air Force (IAF) signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to select and train astronauts for ISRO’s Gaganyaan project. ISRO’s first manned space mission is scheduled to happen in 2022.
The IAF tweeted yesterday informing that it had signed the MoU with ISRO for its ambitious Gaganyaan programme.
On 28 May 19 #IAF signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection & training for the prestigious #Gaganyaan Programme. AVM RGK Kapoor, ACAS Ops (Space), IAF handed over the MoU to Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme. pic.twitter.com/LBJ6YxH6io
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 29, 2019
ISRO’s K. Sivan said, “This is the formal beginning of the screening and training of IAF candidates for the human space mission. We, that is ISRO and the IAF, will do it together”. The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) of the IAF would be heading the selection and training of the astronauts.
The selection process of the astronauts would take up to 12-14 months. Most of the basic training would happen in India and foreign help would be required for some advanced training.
The training would take place at the Human Space Flight Centre that was opened on January 31st at ISRO’s headquarters in Bengaluru.
🇮🇳 #ISROMissions 🇮🇳
Human Space Flight Centre is operational now after its inauguration by Dr K Kasturirangan, ex-Chairman, ISRO. Chairman Dr K Sivan and other officials too were present. The facility is next to ISRO HQ. A full-scale #Gaganyaan crew module model also unveiled. pic.twitter.com/hIEf8pu3Lq
— ISRO (@isro) January 31, 2019
The Gaganyaan mission would be headed by Dr VR Lalithambika, a control engineer who specializes in the advanced launcher technologies. In September 2018, ISRO had also unveiled its space suit and crew module for Gaganyaan.
Prime Minister Modi had previously announced in his Independence Day address on 15th August, 2018 that ISRO would three astronauts, including a woman, in a capsule that would orbit the earth for about week by December 2021 or 2022. In December 2018, the Government sanctioned a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for the Gaganyaan programme.