Indian Air Force
completes first level of astronaut selection for Gaganyaan mission on Sept 6, 2019 in Bengaluru. The Level-1 selection of Indian astronauts for mission Gaganyaan, India’s first human mission to space to send humans to space and bring them back in 2022 has been completed at Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Bengaluru.
Taking to Twitter, the IAF said, “Completed Level-1 of Indian Astronaut selection for Gaganyaan missionat Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Selected Test Pilots underwent extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, radio logical tests, clinical tests and evaluation on various facets of psychology. #MissionGaganyaan.”
In May 2019 year, the IAF signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
for Astronaut Selection for Gaganyaan Mission and training for the Gaganyaan mission.
In July 2019, it was reported that India’s first set of Astronaut Selection for Gaganyaan Mission
will be test pilots
and that they are likely to all be under the age of 40 years. Given the short timeline for the Gaganyaan Mission, a senior official part of the Gaganyaan planning team, said, “For the first mission (Gaganyaan) the entire crew will be test-pilots. ISRO and IAF have agreed upon this”. Test pilots are both physiologically and psychologically trained to adapt to situations that a space flight demands.
Astronaut Selection for Gaganyaan Mission- Why Test Pilots?“
It’s quite straight forward because space technology is essentially extension aviation. Test pilots, by virtue of their specializations, have always been called upon to study deeply all that can probably go wrong in something that has not been tried before. That gives them the edge as they are experienced in preparing themselves better. Also, in case things do not go as per planned, their specialization and experience kicks-in and helps them analyze the situation. This makes them the natural choice,” according to Rakesh Sharma.
Astronaut Selection for Gaganyaan Mission- Will Russia provide Space suits?
India has officially signed an agreement with Russia for the advanced training of astronauts that are finally picked. Most recently, Russia even indicated that the Indian mission may even use Russian space suits.In a statement issued from Moscow, Russian space agency Roscosmos, said” Russia and India are expecting to negotiate the contracts to supply windows, crew seats and spacesuits for the Indian crewed mission.” France has also offered cooperation, especially in the field of training flight surgeons.