Four Indian Astronauts To Start 11-Month Training In Russia From Next Week  For ISRO’s Gaganyaan MissionThe GSLV MKIII rocket (Representative Image) (Pic via ISRO website)

After an intensive selection process, the four Indian astronauts shortlisted for the Gaganyaan project, India’s first manned space mission, will receive 11 months’ training in Russia, most likely in the third week of January, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday (15 January), according to an official statement, reports Business Standard.

"After 11 months of training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India. In that, they will be trained in crew and service module designed by Isro, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations,”said the statement.

The Rs 10,000-crore ambitious project is expected to be launched in 2022, the year of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence.

As per the ISRO sources, India's heaviest launch vehicle “Bahubali” GSLV Mark-III will carry the astronauts to space, the statement added.

Earlier on 1 January, ISRO chief K Sivan had informed that the four astronauts have been selected and their training will begin in Russia from third week of January.

India had picked 12 test pilots, who cleared level-1 screening, in the first week of September 2019 for the human spaceflight programme that envisages to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022.

The 12 candidates were selected by the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) from the 60 applicants after the first round of screening. Of these, final four were selected by the Glavkosmos - a subsidiary of Roscosmos State Corporation (Russia’s space agency), after other rounds of screening.

The Glavkosmos and ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) in July 2019 had finalised an agreement that will see the Russian agency provide advanced training to Gaganyaan astronauts.

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