Published On: Fri, Jan 31st, 2020

Russia set to train astronauts for India’s 1st manned Gaganyaan mission

India, which is striving to become the fourth space superpower, is sending a group of astronauts to Russia where they will be given rigorous training at the famed Cosmonaut Training Center outside of Moscow.

An Indian crew of four is arriving in February and the program “is intended for one year and a half,” the head of Russia’s Cosmonaut Training Center, Pavel Vlasov, told TASS. The center will train a spacecraft commander and spacecraft flight engineers, using the time-tested Soyuz.

India, which is seeking to launch its first-ever manned mission – known as Gaganyaan (‘sky vehicle’ in Sanskrit) – into orbit by 2022, is apparently eager to learn from Russia’s decades of experience.

Last year, the Indian Human Space Flight Centre and Roscosmos agreed to jointly screen, select, and train India’s astronauts at Russian facilities. The Indian space program may also incorporate Russia’s life support systems and thermal control into Gaganyaan.

READ MORE: Indian scientists develop SPACE BRICKS for future construction on the Moon

Meanwhile, Indian scientists have independently tested several building blocks for their milestone mission, including re-entry capsule, pad abort test, safe crew ejection mechanism, and flight suit.

This is not the first time India has sent astronauts to Star City, where the training center is based. In the 1980s, it embedded Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma in the 1984 Soyuz T-11 mission, who became the first and so far only Indian to travel to space.

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