India’s first astronaut school on the launch pad | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India’s first astronaut school on the launch pad

India’s plans to put a man in space are moving into a higher orbit. The country will soon set up its first Astronaut Training Centre at Devanhalli in Bangalore. The search for Indian astronauts is likely to commence in 2013. Satyen Mohapatra reports.

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2009 01:57 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

India’s plans to put a man in space are moving into a higher orbit. The country will soon set up its first Astronaut Training Centre at Devanhalli in Bangalore. The search for Indian astronauts is likely to commence in 2013.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to put a man in space by 2015. A detailed proposal for the Rs 10,000 crore project is already with the government, awaiting cabinet approval.

“In the first mission, we will put two astronauts on a 3.5 to 4 ton spacecraft into low-earth orbit of 300 km (above the earth’s surface),” S Ramakrishnan, director (projects) at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, told Hindustan Times.

“Though it could sustain life for seven days, we will make the spacecraft orbit the earth 11 times in about 17 hours and then the astronauts will be brought back,” he added.

The astronauts’ training will begin two years before the mission. Around 200 candidates will be short-listed, of whom 10 will make the cut for training. Only two of the 10 finalists will eventually make it to the flight, with two more on standby.

The manned space mission is a step towards putting an Indian on the moon — a goal ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair says India can achieve by 2025.