Mass Media about us

SPs Aviation: Russia to train Indian astronauts

July 2, 2019

First deputy Director General of Glavkosmos Natalia Lokteva and Director of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) Dr. S.Unnikrishnan Nair signed a contract on June 27, 2019. SP’s Aviation magazine reported. 

The contract has been signed for selection support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts for its proposed mission Gaganyaan which will be India’s first manned space mission. While Glavkosmos (a Russian launch service provider) is a subsidiary of Roscosmos State Space Corporation, Russia’s Space state agency, HSFC is a part of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) that has been established to develop life support systems, crew training and planning for future missions under the Gaganyaan project.

Glavkosmos will render to HSFC services on consulting support of selection of candidates for the Indian astronauts, providing medical examination of the candidates for access to space flight related training program and providing space flight related training for the Indian astronauts selected on the basis of the medical examination.

On Monday i.e. July 1, 2019, Glavkosmos, which will also assist ISRO in selecting candidates for the space flight, issued an official statement confirming the contract. The statement read that Glavkosmos will render to HSFC services on consulting support of selection of candidates for the Indian astronauts, providing medical examination of the candidates for access to space flight related training program and providing space flight related training for the Indian astronauts selected on the basis of the medical examination.

“The work will be provided with support of the Federal State Budget Organization U.A. Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center and Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences,” read the statement.

India’s very first astronaut, Wing Commander (Retired) Rakesh Sharma, was also taken into space in 1984 by Russia’s Soyuz T-11 under the Interkosmosprogramme. Sharma is now also a member of the recently formed GaganyaanNational Advisory Council (NAC) advising ISRO on the Gaganyaan mission.

This is not India and Russia’s first undertaking together in the space sector. In fact, India’s very first astronaut, Wing Commander (Retired) Rakesh Sharma, was also taken into space in 1984 by Russia’s Soyuz T-11 under the Interkosmosprogramme. Sharma is now also a member of the recently formed GaganyaanNational Advisory Council (NAC) advising ISRO on the Gaganyaan mission. Under the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) has also worked with Russia previously. The cooperation has even extended to lunar and Mars missions with the former Soviet Union helping in the launch of India’s first two satellites, Aryabhata and Bhaskara. The past experience has been reported fundamental in making the decision to opt for Russia for this partnership over other countries like the US and France.

Gaganyaan is expected to be completed in the next four years i.e. by 2022 which is also in concert to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated in his speech during India’s Independence Day, that by 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands.

If India successfully completes the Gaganyaan mission, it will become the fourth country globally to launch a manned space mission following Russia, the US and China.