Gaganyaan astronauts to be trained for 11 months, will begin third week of Jan: Union Minister

While four astronauts will undergo training, only three astronauts will be sent to space during the mission.


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to send humans to space, for the first time, on the Gaganyaan mission. They have joined hands with the Russian space agency to give them the necessary training to deal with the harsh environments of space.

On a previous occasion, ISRO chief K Sivan had hinted that the astronauts that will be sent to space will need to have sufficient flying experience.

At this year’s annual press conference, Sivan announced that after a series of tests conducted both in India and in Russia, four Indians from the Indian Airforce have been selected and their training will begin by the third week of January. While four astronauts will undergo training, only three astronauts will be sent to space and only one astronaut will be sent to space in the first human spaceflight.

 Gaganyaan astronauts to be trained for 11 months, will begin third week of Jan: Union Minister

The Human Space Flight Centre team, ISRO chairman K Sivan and ex-Chairman K Kasturirangan stand in front of the Gaganyaan crew module replica at the inauguration. Image: ISRO

Reiterating the same timeline, Dr Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State, said yesterday that their training will most likely begin in the third week of January and will continue to receive training for the next 11 months. He also added that their identity cannot be revealed.

"After 11 months of training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India. In that, they will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations," the statement read.

Info graphic ISRO's Gaganyaan orbital vehicle depicting Crew and Service Module in integrated configuration displayed at 6th Bangalore Space Expo 2018, 6-8 September 2018. Image credit: Wikipedia

ISRO's Gaganyaan orbital vehicle depicting Crew and Service Module in integrated configuration displayed at 6th Bangalore Space Expo 2018, 6-8 September 2018. Image credit: Wikipedia

The Gaganyaan mission will see India sending human beings into space for a minimum of seven days in 2022. However, the test flights are likely to begin by the end of this year if everything goes smoothly. There is no official date announced by ISRO but Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day last year, stated that Gaganyaan’s launch will coincide with the 75th year of India’s Independence.

The spacecraft that will carry the astronauts will be developed by ISRO and will consist of a service module and a crew module, collectively known as the Orbital Module. India's heaviest launch vehicle the ‘Bahubali’ GSLV Mark-III will carry the astronauts to space.

The Rs 10,000-crore ambitious project is expected to be launched in 2022, the year of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence.

With inputs from PTI

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