August 7, 2020 1:25:47 am
The four Indian astronauts training in Russia for the Gaganyaan project – India’s first manned space mission — are doing well and are “determined to continue with their training”, Russian space corporation ROSCOSMOS said in a statement on Thursday.
The training of the four astronauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), which started in February but was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, had resumed in May. They are “following the courses of the general space training programme and of the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft” and are scheduled to complete their training by the first quarter of 2021, the statement said.
ROSCOSMOS said that till now, the “Indian cosmonauts have completed training on crew actions in the event of an abnormal descent module landing” on various surfaces. The statement said that the training for landing in “wooded and marshy areas in winter” was completed in February, and for landing on “the water surface” was completed in June. In July, the four astronauts also completed the abnormal descent module landing “in the steppe in summer”.
In June “the Indian astronauts-elect passed training in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the IL-76MDK special laboratory aircraft, and in July, they were trained to lift aboard a helicopter while evacuating from the descent module landing point,” the statement said.
The Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation had signed a contract with Gavkosmos, a subsidiary of ROSCOSMOS in June 2019 for the Indian candidates’ training for a spaceflight. The entire training and preparation process will happen in Russia and will include a “number of courses necessary for prospective Indian cosmonauts”.
According to the ROSCOSMOS, “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”.
Further, it also includes training “in 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, ROSCOSMOS said, “are to be held in the near future”.
“All of the Indian cosmonauts are in good health and are determined to continue their training,” the statement said.
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