PM Narendra Modi announces names of astronauts for Gaganyaan space flight mission | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

PM Narendra Modi announces names of astronauts for Gaganyaan space flight mission

Feb 27, 2024 03:43 PM IST

The four astronauts are -- Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Prathap, Ajit Krishnan, and Shubhanshu Shukla

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday the names of the four astronaut designates who are undergoing training for India’s first human space flight mission, Gaganyaan.

The final mission will carry a crew of only three astronauts. (Narendra Modi | Official X account)
The final mission will carry a crew of only three astronauts. (Narendra Modi | Official X account)

The four astronauts are, Indian Air Force (IAF) group captain Prashant Balakrishnan Nair, group captain Ajit Krishnan, group captain Angad Pratap and wing commander Subhanshu Shukla.

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The astronaut designates have been training for the Gaganyaan mission for the last five years in Russian and Indian facilities.

Also Read:For Gaganyaan astronauts, Isro may opt for Russian-made spacesuits

All four of them received astronaut wings from PM Modi who was addressing a gathering at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba near the Kerala state capital.

“They (the astronaut designates) are not just four names or identities, they represent the space aspirations of 1.4 billion people of our country,” PM Modi said while introducing the astronauts.

“After over 40 years, Indians will be travelling to space again. But this time, the launchpad, rocket and countdown will all be ours”, he said.

During his visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, PM Modi also inaugurated three important space infrastructure projects worth about 1,800 crore.

The projects include ‘PSLV Integration Facility’ at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota; ‘Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and stage Test facility’ at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri; and ‘Trisonic Wind Tunnel’ at VSSC, while also reviewing the progress of Gaganyaan.

The Gaganyaan mission, which is India’s first human spaceflight project, aims to demonstrate Isro’s human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely.

The final mission will carry a crew of only three astronauts.

Leading up to the actual manned mission, the space agency will be conducting several rounds of tests to ensure the systems are safe to carry and bring back astronauts safely to Earth.

Last week, Isro also announced the accomplishment of a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated Launch Vehicle Mark-III for Gaganyaan missions, with the completion of the final round of ground qualification tests.

Isro in a statement last week said that the ground qualification tests for the human rating of the CE20 engine involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests, and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions with respect to thrust, mixture ratio, and propellant tank pressure. All the ground qualification tests of the CE20 engine for the Gaganyaan programme have been successfully completed, the space agency added.

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    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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