Gaganyaan mission: 12 astronauts to visit Russia for training, says ISRO chief

The 12 Indian astronauts who are in the process of being selected for Gaganyaan — India’s manned mission to space — will be sent to Russia for training in about a month, K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said during a visit to the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

“The process of selecting astronauts is going on. They will be going to Russia for training in about a month… We are planning to select 12 astronauts and they will go to Russia. The Russians will select four from this and then the selected four astronauts will undergo rigorous training for 15 months,” Sivan told mediapersons on sidelines of the 4th ISSE National Conference 2019 organised on SAC campus.

Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS for Atomic Energy and Space, was also present.

The ISRO chief said the first unmanned mission under Gaganyaan will be launched by December 2020. “The second unmanned mission we are planning by July 2021 so that we can have the manned mission by December 2021,” the ISRO chief said.

Asked if a woman astronaut is among those selected, Sivan said, “Till now, among those selected, there is no woman. But we want a woman to be there. Probably we will select one next time.”