ISRO, IAF to train vyomnauts for India's first-ever manned space-mission
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch three Indian 'vyomnauts' into an Earth-bound orbit as part of the country's first-ever manned space mission. The project, dubbed Gaganyaan, is slated for 2022, but the agency has already started the recruitment for it. It has signed an MoU with the Indian Air Force to select and train potential vyomnauts. Here are the details.
As part of the agreement, signed a few days back, IAF's Institute of Aerospace Medicine will select a pool of 30 capable fliers over a period of 14- 15 months. From these, the organization will shortlist 15 candidates for the basic training which will be conducted at ISRO's Human Space Flight Center, next to its headquarters in Bengaluru.
ISRO's chairman Sivan K has confirmed that most of the training will happen in India. It will take place in phases, with the first two phases being conducted in India, while the final one taking place either in Russia or France. Ultimately, the agency will keep two teams of three vyomnauts (six) - one for the main mission and the other as a backup.
ISRO plans to launch the crew of three, including a woman, chosen for the mission by 2022, which will be India's 75th year of Independence. However, before executing the mission, the agency will also conduct two test runs - unmanned Gaganyaan flights - in 2020-2021. The cost of the entire mission, including the development of required technologies, is estimated to be Rs. 9,023 crore.
Once the recruitment and training process is complete, the crew of three - aboard Gaganyaan spacecraft - will be launched into space. They will take to the skies on a modified version of ISRO's GSLV-MkIII heavy rocket and orbit the planet at an altitude of some 300-450km. The crew will conduct experiments for nearly a week and then head back to Earth.