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TASS: Indian astronauts to complete their training at the Russian GCTC in the first quarter of 2021

August 6, 2020

MOSCOW, August 6. /TASS/. Astronauts-elect from India, undergoing training for the spaceflight at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Moscow region, will complete their training in the first quarter of 2021, said Glavkosmos (subsidiary of Roscosmos) on Thursday.

"The Indian cosmonauts are undergoing training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) following the courses of the general space training program and of the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft. The completion of their training at GCTC is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021," said Glavkosmos in a statement on its website.

It was reported in May that Indian astronauts-elect returned to normal training at GCTC after training remotely. The health status of the astronauts-elect is monitored daily, and once every three months, highly professional GCTC doctors conduct their thorough medical examination, Glavkosmos said on Thursday.

The entire training of Indian astronauts-elect takes place in Russia. "The regular courses comprise medical and physical training, learning Russian (as one of the main international languages of communication in space), and studying the configuration, structure and systems of the Soyuz crewed spacecraft," the news release says.

What has already been done

Glavkosmos said that the representatives of India have already passed training on the crew actions in the event of an abnormal landing in wooded and marshy areas in winter, on the water surface and in the steppe in summer. Also in June, they passed training in the short-term weightlessness mode on board the Il-76MDK laboratory aircraft, and in July, they were prepared to lift aboard a helicopter while evacuating from the descent module landing point.

The training program for astronauts-elect from India includes training on a centrifuge and in a hyperbaric chamber to prepare their organisms for sustaining spaceflight factors, such as G-force, hypoxia and pressure drops. These trainings are planned for the near future, Glavkosmos reported.

" The GCTC instructors praise the effort and high motivation of the Indian cosmonauts. They also note their extremely serious and very professional attitude to the training process. All of the Indian cosmonauts are in good health and are determined to continue their training ", - said the news release.

The contract for the Indian candidates’ training for a spaceflight was signed between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation on June 27, 2019.  On February 10, 2020, GCTC started training of the four Indian cosmonauts.

In August 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his country would send the first national space crew into orbit by 2022, when it will celebrate the 75th anniversary of independence. The name of the mission - Gaganyaan (from the Sanskrit of gagan - sky), the Sky Craft. Before that, it is planned to perform two launches of Indian spaceships in uncrewed mode.

(Translation by the Press Office of Glavkosmos, JSC)