Updated February 27th, 2024 at 19:05 IST

Video: How 4 Astronauts Were Trained For Gaganyaan Mission | WATCH

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the names of four astronauts who were selected to be part of the historic Gaganyaan mission.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
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 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the names of four astronauts who were selected to be part of the International Space Research Organisation's Gaganyaan Mission. The project which is set to launch in 2024-2025 is India's maiden human space flight mission. During the Tuesday event which was held at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Prime Minister honoured the astronaut-designates with ‘astronaut wings’. He went on to laud the ISRO's endeavours and emphasised that “India's success in the space sector is sowing the seeds of scientific temperament in the country's young generation.”

For the historic mission, ISRO collaborated with the Indian Air Force and selected a crew from the pool of talented test pilots. These talented test pilots underwent a host of clinical, aeromedical and psychological tests. Finally, the National Crew Selection Board recommended four test pilots from the Indian Air Force for the Gaganyaan crew training program. The four chosen Indian Air Force pilots are Group Captain Prashanth Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. 

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“I want everyone to give a standing ovation to our astronauts,” the Prime Minister said as he introduced the astronaut-designates. “A while ago, the country saw 4 Gaganyaan travellers. They are not just 4 names or 4 human beings, they are the four powers that are going to take the aspirations of 140 crore Indians to space. An Indian is going to space, after 40 years. This time, the time is ours, the countdown is ours and the rocket is also ours,” he added.

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Gaganyaan crew received 13 months of training in Russia

After getting selected for the mission, the selected group members were trained at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia for a period of about 13 months. The international training covered various aspects of a space mission, such as parabolic flights, survival training in snow desert and water landing. In June 2019, ISRO signed a contract with a subsidiary of ROSCOSMOS (the Russian space agency), called Gavkosmos which was responsible for preparing the Indian astronauts selected for the mission.

India's crew for the Gaganyaan Mission receives training at the  Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia | Image: ISRO

After returning from Russia, the crew were trained in the newly established training facilities through the Gaganyaan crew training simulators, mockups and state-of-the-art virtual reality tools. The selected astronauts were also trained in various human-centric products and survival scenarios. The physical fitness of the crew was maintained through a rigorous physical training regime. Another interesting aspect of the training process was that a specialised yoga module was also incorporated into the physical health training curriculum for the holistic health management of the astronauts. 

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Published February 27th, 2024 at 18:59 IST