The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed a contract with a Russian company “Glavkosmos” for selection support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts for the country’s proposed maiden manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’.
The contract was signed by Glavkosmos’ first Deputy Director-General, Natalia Lokteva, and Director of the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) of ISRO, S. Unnikrishnan Nair, on June 27. Glavkosmos is a Russian launch service provider and a subsidiary of the state corporation Roscosmos.
In a statement on its website, Glavkosmos said it would render consulting support in the selection of candidates, providing medical examinations and space flight related training for the astronauts selected.
“The work will be provided with the support of the Federal State Budget Organisation – the U A Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Centre and the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences,” it said.
Gearing up for the mission announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ISRO has set up a Human Space Flight Centre to facilitate the manned voyage involving a three-member crew.
‘Gaganyaan’ is set for a December 2021 launch and is likely to include a woman astronaut, ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, had said earlier.
The initial training would be in the country, but advanced training might be abroad, maybe in Russia, he said.
ISRO had, in May, signed an MoU with the Indian Air Force for cooperation in crew selection and training for the Gaganyaan Project.
The Union Cabinet gave its nod for the Rs 9,023-crore programme in 2018.
In his Independence Day address last year, Modi had announced that the mission would be undertaken by 2022 using ISRO’s own capabilities.
Agreement Signed by:
The signing of the contract was done by Glavkosmos’ first Deputy Director General Natalia Lokteva and S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) of ISRO.
Under the contract, the work will be provided with support of the Federal State Budget Organisation named Yu.A. Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center and Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Glavkosmos was established in 1985 and headquartered in Moscow, Russia. It is a Russian launch service provide. It functions under the state corporation Roscosmos.
Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft. The mission is intended to be the basis of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018. It was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2018. The mission worth Rs. 10,000 crore.
The Programme is aimed to be launched by December 2021. The spacecraft is being designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.
A heavy-lift rocket is to be released in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of 350-400km for about a week.
ISRO has planned to send two unmanned missions before the main mission.