4 IAF pilots begin training for spaceflight in Russia

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Bengaluru, Feb 11 (IANS) Four Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots began training for the country’s maiden manned mission Gaganyaan around the earth’s orbit in 2022 at the Gagarin research and test cosmonaut training centre in Russia’s Moscow, an official said on Tuesday.

“The year-long training, which includes biomedical, physical practices, study of the Soyuz manned spaceship (module) and weightlessness mode aboard the special Ilyushin-76 MDK aircraft began on Monday,” an official of the state-run Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO) told IANS here.

The four pilots, whose names and ranks have not been made public yet, were selected by the space agency for the week-long human spaceflight around the earth to conduct experiments in micro-gravity and bio-science.

The training is being conducted under a commercial contract between Glavkosmos joint stock company of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos and the human spaceflight centre of the Indian space agency.

The Yuri A. Gagarin state scientific research-and-testing cosmonaut training centre in star city of Moscow’s Oblast trains cosmonauts for space missions.

The spaceflight training centre is named after former Soviet Union’s air force pilot Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human to fly solo into outer space on April 12, 1961, completing one orbit around the earth in Vostok-1 capsule.

“The pilots will also be trained to act swiftly in case of abnormal landing of the spaceship descent module in different climate and geographic zones,” said the official, citing a statement by Glavkosmos.

The contract, signed on June 27, 2019, envisages the support of Glavkosmos in selecting the cosmonauts, their medical check-up and training for the manned mission.

–IANS

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