Gaganyaan: IAF completes Level-1 selection of Indian astronauts in Bengaluru

Gaganyaan will take three astronauts to space, scheduled for December 2021 or January 2022

The Indian Air Force (IAF) announced that the Level-1 selection of test pilots for ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission has successfully completed. A group of test pilots have been chosen for India’s first manned space mission at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bengaluru.

IAF pilot during the Level-1 selection process for Gaganyaan.

IAF pilot during the Level-1 selection process for Gaganyaan.

IAF confirmed the selection on its Twitter account and released a set of photos from the selection process. It said, “Selected Test Pilots underwent extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, radiological tests, clinical tests & evaluation on various facets of their psychology.”

The Gaganyaan mission was initially announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech in 2018. It has been allotted a budget of Rs 10,000 crore.

On May 2019, ISRO and IAF signed an MoU to cooperate in the crew selection and training of astronauts for the Gaganyaan mission. Gaganyaan is going to be India’s first-ever manned mission to space. It will send three astronauts for seven days and the spacecraft will be placed in a low-earth orbit of around 300-400 km.

Before sending the astronauts, two unmanned missions will be conducted by ISRO. The GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability.

The Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru will be looking at all the activities about the mission along with the Institute of Aerospace Medicine.

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