Training of Gaganyaan astronauts in Russia put on hold due to lockdown: Sources


Training of the four future Gaganyan astronauts in Russia has been suspended because the facility where the exercise is being conducted has been temporarily halted following the coronavirus outbreak, sources said Monday. The four Indian Air Force test pilots, chosen for India’s first manned space mission, have trained at the Yu.A. Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center near Moscow since February.

However, since last week, the center has been closed due to a coronavirus outbreak, sources said. Named after Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel to space, the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center was built to support manned space programs, space exploration activities, aerospace engineering, cosmonaut training and ensure their safety in space and rehabilitation program & # 39; 39; s after the flight for cosmonauts.

“Our (future) astronauts are fine. They are currently in a hostel. We have been told the center will open by the end of the month,” said a source. When asked if the suspension of training for nearly four weeks will hurt the training program, the sources added that while the program spanned more than 12 months, they had maintained a three-month buffer to account for the emergencies. India’s first manned space mission – Gaganyaan – is planned around 2022. Under this mission of nearly Rs 10,000 crore, three Indians travel to the low Earth orbit of 300-400 kilometers, according to sources, ISRO has also conducted training for a month to flight surgeons in Russia because of the blockage in both India and Russia.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Moscow residents to respect the closure and said it was a necessary measure to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Several other regions in Russia have also been closed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Russia has reported 4,731 deaths and 44 deaths so far. The flight surgeons, doctors of the Indian Air Force, specialize in aviation medicines and are responsible for the health of astronauts before, during and after the flight. & # 39; Flight surgeons should establish personal contact with the astronauts. That is why we have planned for the flight surgeons to go to Russia alternately, ”the source said.

Currently, there is one flight surgeon and an ISRO officer in Russia, apart from the four astronauts. “Our activities in Russia are not on schedule. Since both India and Russia require a 14 day quarantine after the trip, we asked our team to stay there. So there is no point in sending someone there now. The new team will not go to Russia until things are resolved, the source added. The flight surgeons would be trained separately at CNES, the French space agency. However, a CNES official told PTI that “the upcoming training sessions originally planned in Europe in the spring will be somewhat delayed”.

Despite the situation related to COVID-19 and the need to detain working personnel, CNES and ISRO will continue to work together to prepare the Gaganyaan mission, in particular the training of surgeons and ground teams that will support the mission, said CNES officials. One session involves ground team training in France at CADMOS / CNES, the operations center specializing in space operations for human spaceflight and microgravity research, and another for crew surgeon training, scheduled at ESA European Astronauts Center in Germany. “To move forward quickly, the teams are currently evaluating the ability to organize these training sessions remotely. At the same time, they are continuing to build on the other parts of the collaboration, such as a possible support to provide access to spatial equipment, ”the official added.

ISRO and CNES have an agreement to train Indian flight surgeons. The four future astronauts are also likely to go to France, which has a well-established mechanism for space medicine. It has the MEDES space clinic, a subsidiary of CNES, where space surgeons are trained.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)


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