Four astronauts selected for India’s first human spaceflight will start their mission-specific training in India by May or June, the government said on Thursday, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots almost at the end of their generic space training in Russia.
In his August 15 speech in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would send a human mission, Gaganyaan, to space in the 75th year of Independence. With the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the mission is likely to get delayed.
“Due to Covid pandemic and subsequent budgetary guidelines, programmatic milestones of Gaganyaan Programme are reassessed and are as follows; First unmanned flight: December 2021 Second unmanned flight: 2022-23 Manned flight: After successful completion of the above two flights. ISRO is making all efforts to make up the schedule delays due to Covid,” minister of state for department of space Jitendra Singh said in a reply in the Lok Sabha.
Currently, the astronauts are undergoing generic space training such as survival in snow, water and steppe, parabolic flight, orbital mechanics and astro-navigation at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia.