ISRO, IAF Ink Agreement for Astronaut Training

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) signed an MoU for getting Indian astronauts trained for Gaganyaan project.

About the MoU

  • IAF s Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bengaluru would serve as the nodal centre to train the first set of Indian astronauts.
  • Around 15 candidates would be trained and kept ready for the space travel and three would be selected to circle Earth for about seven days from a distance of 400 km.

A similar agreement has been signed with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to use the human science related technologies and products of DRDO s bioscience laboratories.

Gaganyaan Mission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2018 Independence Day speech had announced that an Indian astronaut would go into space by 2022 as part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The salient features of the programme are:

  • Gaganyaan is an indigenous mission that would take Indian astronauts to space. It would be India s first manned mission to space and would make India fourth in line to have sent a human to space.
  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan. ISRO will develop an Orbital Module with a service module and a crew module for the Mission.
  • The human spaceflight will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km where it will stay for five to seven days and will land in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Gujarat.
  • The capsule will rotate around the Earth every 90 minutes, and astronauts will be able to witness sunrise and sunset.

Rs. 10,000-crore Gaganyaan mission will be a turning point in India’s space journey where some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and flotation system, sub-systems of life support system designed for the Mission will demonstrate India s robustness technical acumen to undertake complex missions.

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