Under Gaganyaan, India's first human spaceflight programme, a three-member crew of Indian astronauts will be sent to space.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be using an external agency to train astronauts including the Indian Air Force as it readies to launch it's ambitious project "Gaganyaan" in December 2021.
A source told Moneycontrol that the organisation is looking at other training grounds for astronauts, including DRDO and/or overseas agencies as there are no plans to create a training infrastructure by ISRO. "The focus is on executing the project as it is on the priority list," the source added.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan recently said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will be in charge of selection and training 10 astronauts. According to reports, the training will happen at IAF's Institute of Aerospace Medicine facility in Bengaluru.
"The organisation may or may not establish its own training centre depending on whether there is going to be more such projects in the pipeline," the source noted.
Gaganyaan, India's first human spaceflight programme, was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2018 with the goal of sending a crew of Indian astronauts in space.
There are two dry runs planned without crew in December 2020 and July 2021, before the actual launch in December 2021.
Rs 10,000 crore has been allocated to fund the project, which would be met by ISRO. On January 30 ISRO launched the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), which will be responsible for the implementation of the project that involves end-to-end mission planning, development of engineering systems for crew survival in space, crew selection, training and pursue activities for sustained human space flight missions.
The space agency is developing an advanced version of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), which will be the launch vehicle for the Gaganyaan mission. It will carry the three-member crew capsule, which will orbit the earth at 400 km altitude up to seven days.
Although the human space flight mission was announced recently, the foundation for it was laid years back. The source said that researchers at ISRO have already worked and tested some of the building blocks and work is in progress to build the rest."This is ISRO's first human space flight mission. There are lot of things one needs to consider when sending a human to space such as oxygen concentration inside the capsule, waste disposal and radiation to ensure the safety of humans," the source said.