An initial shortlisting of astronauts has been completed for India’s first manned space mission that will orbit the Earth in a local-made space craft before 2022, The Economic Times said in a report.
The shortlisting has been done by the Indian Air Force (IAF) that has chosen test pilots after clinical, radiological and physical exercise tests. The pilots were also evaluated on psychological grounds. A female astronaut is also expected to be in the team for the $1.4 billon mission ‘Gaganyaan’ (mission name as of now).
#MissionGaganyaan -IAF completed Level-1 of Indian Astronaut selection at Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Selected Test Pilots underwent extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, radiological tests, clinical tests & evaluation on various facets of their psychology. pic.twitter.com/O3QYWJYlQd— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 6, 2019
IAF is going to be a vital part in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of India becoming capable in manned space missions, and will further narrow down the prospective astronauts.
The announcement came a few hours before the much-anticipated mood landing of Vikram Lander of Chandrayaan 2. However, the lander could not complete its mission as it lost contact with the mission control room 2.1 kms above moon’s surface.
PM Modi has been positive and ambitious about India’s space expedition. His plans include missions to study the Sun next year and Venus three years later, and setup India’s own space station soon.