The Russian space business company Glavkosmos has announced the commencement of training of four Indian fighter pilots selected as candidate for astronaut at the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Centre (GCTC) in Moscow. The exhaustive year long training programme will be carried out in two phases. The basic or generic astronaut training will be followed by activities specific to Gaganyaan, India’s first manned space flight. The finally selected one/ two pilot/s will thereafter be named as crew of Gaganyaan, which is planned to be launched sometime in 2022. Glavkosmos is reported to have said, “The 12-month training programme includes comprehensive and biomedical training combined with regular physical practices. They will study in detail the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship, as well as be trained in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the Il-76MDK aircraft.” The Il-76MDK is a transport aircraft specially re-designed for parabolic flights of trainee astronauts and space tourists.
STATUS OF INDIGENOUS AIRCRAFT CARRIER PROJECT
As per the information given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik in Rajya Sabha, major structural and outfitting work of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier has been completed. Major milestone activities including starting of Main Propulsion machinery and trials of Power Generation machinery have been completed. Trials of other ship’s equipment and systems are presently in progress. Ship’s targeted delivery has been affected due to delay in supply of aviation equipment from Russia.