If all goes as planned, India should be able to send its first manned mission to space by 2021, according to Dr K Sivan, ISRO Chairman.
At the curtain raiser of the Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX02018), Sivan said that there will be two unmanned flights before December 2021, one in December 2020 and another in June 2021. They have set a target of December 2021 for the launch so that they have some margin in case there are glitches, “We will not miss the target set by PM Modi,” he said.
But the entire responsibility will be with the Indian Air Force (IAF) who will select the men or women going to space in an Indian Orbital Module.
He says the IAF will select them based on certain criteria such as mental, physical, psychological aspects.
Even though the module can take three astronauts, a total of six will be selected and trained just in case any problem might arise.
ISRO has already begun informal discussions with the IAF on this and once the project is ready, formal discussions will also begin.
However, in order to maintain the tight schedule, ISRO will need to take foreign help in training its people.
Dr K Sivan says even though they have the IAFs Institute of Aerospace Medicine it will be used only for preliminary testing. For the actual training, they will be sent abroad since the required infrastructure will not be available and it will take around 2-3 years to train them.
The ISRO chairman said that the selected IAF personnel can be sent for training to countries like Germany, Russia and the USA once the modalities are worked out.
“Always taking others experience to our benefit is a wiser idea. In the process, I am not going to lose anything. We will be benefitted. So whatever benefit I am getting through international cooperation, definitely I am ready to take,” Sivan said.
By: India Today
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