Fantastic 4: Selected for Gaganyaan mission

by Ashis Sinha

# Gaganyaan Mission: India’s first human space flight program

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the names of the four astronauts who are undergoing training for the country’s maiden human space flight mission, Gaganyaan. He called them the four forces that encompass the aspirations of 1.4 billion people in the country.

They are Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. The Prime Minister also bestowed astronaut wings’ to the astronaut-designates during his visit to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

The Gaganyaan Mission is India’s first human space flight program for which extensive preparations are underway at various ISRO centres.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “They are not just four names or four human beings, they are the four powers that are going to take the aspirations of 140 crore Indians to space. An Indian is going to space, after 40 years. This time, the time is ours, the countdown is ours and the rocket is also ours.”

“Today is such an occasion for India when the present generation can take pride in the historic achievements of the nation in land, air, water and space,” he added.

Recalling his statement about the beginning of a new ‘kaal chakra’ made from Ayodhya, Prime Minister Modi said that India is continuously expanding its space in the global order and its glimpses can be seen in the country’s space program.

PM recalled India’s Chandrayaan success as India became the first nation to land on the South Pole of the Moon.

“Today Shiv-Shakti Point is introducing the entire world to Indian prowess,” he said.

“By 2035, India will have its space station in space that will help us study the unknown expanses of space. In this period of Amrit Kaal, Indian astronauts will land on the surface of the moon on our rocket,” added PM.

Modi said, India’s success in the space sector is sowing the seeds of scientific temperament in the country’s young generation.

With Gaganyaan being India’s first human spaceflight mission, it was reported that all astronaut-elects would be test pilots. Following several selection rounds, the IAM and ISRO shortlisted the final four test pilots.

Following some Covid-19-related delays, they received training in Russia in 2021. The four have since been receiving assistance from several agencies while they complete different training programs in India.

Today, PM Modi visited the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and inaugurated three important space infrastructure projects worth about 1,800 crore rupees.

These projects include the PSLV Integration Facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota; the new ‘Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and stage Test facility’ at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri and ‘Trisonic Wind Tunnel’ at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram.

Modi also reviewed preparations for the Gaganyaan Mission

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