The four Indian astronaut-elects, who began their course in Moscow on February 10 this year are set to enter the last leg of the Russian training. Glavkosmos, which has a contract with Isro’s Human Spaceflight Centre (HSFC) confirmed to TOI that the four men shortlisted to go to space as part of India’s Gaganyaan programme are scheduled to return at the end of March 2021.
The Indians are undergoing the general space training programme at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) and are also studying the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft.
Dmitry Loskutov, director general, Glavkosmos, told TOI on Monday, “By the end of November, they should pass tests in the GCTC centrifuge and hyperbaric chamber module. The Indian astronauts are ongoing as scheduled and are set to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2021.”
HSFC and Glavkosmos signed the contract in June 2019 and the Indian astronaut-elects, all of them test pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF), left for Russia only this year.
Glavkosmos had earlier said that the training programme would be complex and that all its elements are critically important, because only the combination of all aspects allows preparing a person for a spaceflight.