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15 Sep 2018

Gaganyaan mission: IAF to assist ISRO in astronaut training

Since PM Modi announced plans to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022, ISRO has been frantically trying to make requisite arrangements for its landmark Gaganyaan mission.

Now, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has announced its support to ISRO.

On Friday, IAF chief BS Dhanoa said that the IAF would actively help ISRO in selecting and training astronauts for the mission.

Here's more.

In context

IAF to help ISRO in Gaganyaan astronaut selection
Elite IAF pilots are likely to be selected for Gaganyaan


Elite IAF pilots are likely to be selected for Gaganyaan

Earlier, ISRO had announced that anyone could send in applications for the mission, but that it would prefer pilots.

In all likelihood, astronauts for the Gaganyaan mission will emerge from among the IAF's most elite pilots who have a reputation of being high risk takers, and have been trained at state-of-the-art training facilities at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bengaluru.


IAM Bengaluru offers the training facilities required for the mission

Notably, India's only centrifuge that can simulate the high gravitation forces astronauts are expected to face during the Gaganyaan mission are located in Bengaluru's Institute of Aerospace Medicine.

Coupled with the fact that ISRO has next to no experience in human biology, it's quite likely that they'll enlist the help of the IAF and IAM, Bengaluru.

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Dhanoa: IAM is fully prepared for the task ahead

"You have to ask ISRO when they will do, but Institute of Aerospace Medicine is fully geared up to what they are supposed to do. Selection of the pilot will be done after the qualitative requirements are finalised. ISRO chief has met me," said Dhanoa.

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