ISRO, Indian Air Force to Select and Train Astronauts for Gaganyaan Mission

ISRO and Indian Air Force have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for crew selection and training for the ambitious Gaganyaan mission

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ISRO, even before the launch of the highly awaited Chandryaan-2, is simultaneously preparing for another prestigious mission. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the ambitious Gaganyaan mission that is expected to take place in 2022.


“On 28 May 19 IAF signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection & training for the prestigious Gaganyaan Programme. AVM RGK Kapoor, ACAS Ops (Space), IAF handed over the MoU to Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme,” says an announcement made by the official handle of Indian Air Force on Twitter.

What is Gaganyaan Mission?

The ISRO Gaganyaan mission, which means sky craft, is an all Indian crewed orbital spacecraft that intends to be India’s first Human Spaceflight Programme. The HAL manufactured crew module will carry three crew members and will orbit the Earth at 400 km altitude for up to seven days. According to the latest update, the design of the crew module has apparently been completed in May 2019.


The ISRO Gaganyaan mission was as accepted and formally announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August 2018. The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO GSLV Mk III launch vehicle tentatively in 2022. The programme aims to provide a micro-gravity platform in space to test future technologies and conducting experiments.

The building blocks of the mission have seemingly been already developed and tested, which include flight suit developed by DEBEL (DRDO), GSLV Mk III, pad abort test, safe crew ejection mechanisam in case of rocket failure, and re-entry space capsule.

ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is responsible for equipping the Crew Module, which was handed over to ISRO by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with systems necessary for life support, navigation, guidance and control systems.

(With inputs from Wikipedia)