Four Indian astronauts selected to potentially be part of the country’s manned Gaganyaan program are currently training at Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, which is located close to Moscow.
The Gaganyaan mission attempts to launch an astronaut to space before the 75th anniversary of India‘s independence, in 2022, as per earlier reports published by the country’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
According to Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, the four Indian astronauts ‘are in good health and are determined to continue their training.’ The interns arrived in Russia back in February and are set to complete their training at the facility in early 2021.
Getting Ready for Spaceflight
The training program for the four astronauts has included a wide range of skills required for spaceflight, as per the Roscosmos statement, including learning Russian and analyzing every part of the Soyuz capsule.
The foursome trainees have also completed a number of simulations imitating various methods astronauts can return to Earth, such as landing on the steppes, in wooded or marshy zones, as well as splashing down in the water.
The four astronauts have also undergone short-term weightlessness simulations and experienced being air-lifted from a landing site in a helicopter. Upcoming training includes centrifuge simulations of G-forces and stints in a pressure chamber, each of which will accustom and teach their bodies what to expect when in spaceflight.
GCTC resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts — https://t.co/Ha4VJOx1lx
???? Roscosmos specialists are giving theoretical classes on the basics of astrogation, the basics of manned spacecraft control and the Russian language to the Indian cosmonauts pic.twitter.com/KAZeRJFP8M
— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) May 22, 2020
India has been continuing with its human spaceflight program in spite of budgetary issues, and even though the pandemic has taken its toll on the schedule.
Until now, two Indian astronauts have traveled to space, but only on the Russian Soyuz vehicle and U.S. space shuttle, not on an Indian capsule, which is a specification of the Gaganyaan expedition.
Russia and India have signed a deal for the training the four astronauts are currently undergoing and expected to complete by early 2021. The first manned Gaganyaan mission will transport up to three astronauts on a seven-day expedition to space, ISRO said.