Gaganyaan Mission: PM names 4 astronauts

On February 28, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled three strategic space infrastructure projects worth Rs. 1800 crores developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) across various Kerala based centers.

He also formally acknowledged Gaganyaan mission’s first four Indian astronaut candidates while reviewing the ambitious maiden human spaceflight program scheduled by 2027.

New Space Assets Unveiled

The Prime Minister dedicated to nation ISRO’s PSLV rocket integration facility further bolstering launch capabilities, semi cryogenic engine testing complex strengthening indigenous propulsion capacities and trisonic wind tunnel aiding cutting-edge rocket designs. The facilities, developed at a cumulative cost of about 1,800 crore, are expected to collectively escalate technological self-reliance in the country.

India’s First Astronauts Team Announced

During the visit, Prime Minister Modi for the first time formally announced identities of four Indian Air Force test pilots picked for accelerated Gaganyaan program training after being shortlisted from thousands of candidates by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO at the end of gruelling selection trials similar to NASA rigours assessing fitness, behaviour and other critical parameters.

Names Bestowed with Astronaut Pin

The Prime Minister also handed over customised astronaut pin insignia to Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Prathap, Ajit Krishnan, and Shubhanshu Shukla symbolically conferring elite astronaut status and underscoring their role in spearheading India’s first ever manned space odyssey.

Reviewing Milestone Mission Progress

Modi was briefed by ISRO Chairman on the wide-ranging preparations towards realizing the milestone Gaganyaan mission involving development of human rated launch vehicle, crew escape system, orbital module, spacesuits and life support systems besides associated ground infrastructure and astronaut centric facilities.

Vision for Future Space Leadership

Outlining his vision for India emerging a space power by 2047, the Prime Minister stated the goal encompasses both manned missions to moon using indigenous rockets and establishing India’s own space station for exploration within coming decades besides exponentially increasing satellite launch capacities and space sector startups.


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