Updated February 27th, 2024 at 21:31 IST

Gaganyaan Mission: Meet 4 Astronauts Who Will Take India to Space

The four astronaut designates are - Group Captain Prashanth Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The four astronaut designates are - Group Captain Prashanth Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. | Image:Republic
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Thiruvananthapuram: As India is gearing up to get another feather in its wings after the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on Moon and launch of Aditya-L1, the names of the four astronauts selected for Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) next space mission, Gaganyaan, were disclosed by PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday. 

The four astronaut designates are - Group Captain Prasanth Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. The Gaganyaan mission is slated for launch in 2025.

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PM Narendra Modi reviewed the progress of the Gaganyaan Mission and bestowed astronaut wings to the astronaut designates. The Gaganyaan Mission is India's first human space flight program for which extensive preparations are underway at various ISRO centres.

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The word Gaganyaan, which translates to ‘celestial vehicle’, will carry crew members to an orbit of 400 km on a 3-day mission and bring them back safely to Earth, by landing in Indian waters. The mission was announced by PM Modi back in 2018 and since then there had been suspense on the names of the astronauts. All four, short-listed four years ago, are Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilots from Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bengaluru. Out of the four chosen pilots, only three will embark on a journey to space while the fourth will serve as a backup.

The four astronaut designates are currently undergoing training at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru ahead of the mission. The four astronaut designates underwent comprehensive training at Russia's Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center ahead of the Gaganyaan mission.
 

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Here's All We Need to Know About the 4 Astronauts?

Group Captain Prasanth Nair

A native of Kerala, Gp Capt Prasanth Nair had been undergoing training for the Gaganyaan mission in Russia for the past few years. Now, he is getting trained at ISRO’s unit to understand the nuances of the mission. Born on 26 Aug 1976 in Thiruvazhiyad, Nair is a recipient of Sword of Honour at Air Force Academy. He was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF on December 19 1998. He is a CAT A Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot with approximately 3000 hours of flying experience. 

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He has flown a variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Hawk, Dornier, An-32, etc. He is also an alumnus of United States Staff College and a DS at DSSC, Wellington and FIS, Tambaram. He has commanded a premier fighter Su-30 Squadron.


Group Captain Ajit Krishnan

Grp Captain Ajit Krishnan was born on April 19, 1982 in Chennai. An alumnus of NDA, Krishnan is a recipient of the President's Gold Medal and Sword of Honour at Air Force Academy. He was commissioned on 21 June 2003 as an Air Force fighter pilot.

Krishnan is Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot with approximately 2,900 hours of flying experience. The Group Captain has flown a variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-21, Mig-29, Jaguar, Dornier, An-32 etc. He is also an alumnus of DSSC, Wellington.

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Group Captain Angad Pratap

Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, Gp Capt Angad Pratap is an alumnus of NDA and was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF on December 18 2004. The 41-year-old is a Flying Instructor and a Test Pilot with approximately 2,000 hours of flying experience. 

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He has flown a variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32 etc.


Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla

Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla is a Fighter Combat Leader and a Test Pilot with approximately 2,000 hours of flying experience. The UP native is an alumnus of NDA and was commissioned in the fighter stream of the Air Force on June 17, 2006. 

The 38-year-old has flown a variety of aircraft including Su-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32 etc. 

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Published February 27th, 2024 at 14:17 IST