To help train Indian astronauts for the manned mission to orbit, Gaganyaan, India signed a deal with a Russian. The Indian Space Research Organisation has decided to send three astronauts on a life-supporting GSLV-MkIII rocket into low-Earth orbit. With this training, the astronauts will spend a total of seven days in orbit performing a range of experiments before returning home.
A state-run organisation, Russian agency Glavkosmos, has taken on training of astronauts for the missions as well as support in medical examinations and the selection procedure itself.
This is far from the first time ISRO and Russia have worked together on a space mission. The first Indian to go to space, Rakesh Sharma, did so aboard a Russian Soyuz mission (T-11). Now a part of the National Advisory Council advising ISRO on the Gaganyaan mission, he expressed support for the partnership with Russia to Dr K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, too, admitted that this past relationship between the countries made the choice a lot easier.
Though ISRO had choice for training from American and French space agencies, but ISRO settled for the Russia’s Glavkosmos.
Glavkosmos’s deputy director general, Natalia Loktevaand and S Unnikrishnan Nair, director of ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Programme, met and signed the contract for the partnership on 27 June.
As part of the agreement, Glavkosmos will render their consulting support in matters of candidate selection for the astronauts, medical tests for access to spaceflight-related training and training for spaceflight itself.
Gaganyaan is expected to cost India Rs 10,000 crore and is the largest programme undertaken by its national spaceflight programme till date. If it succeeds, it will make India the fourth country to send a human to space. The deadline is 2022.