Four pilots of the Indian Air Force have been selected for training to go to space in India's first ever manned mission, scheduled to take place by mid-2022, said Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Sivan today. The pilots have already undergone medical tests in India and Russia, and will now receive training there, Mr Sivan said, adding, the design phase of the manned mission is complete.
Mr Sivan, however, did not disclose the identities of the pilots who he said were chosen because they were healthy and fit. The ISRO chief also said they have a longer list of candidates and will discuss if any problem arises with the top four.
Speaking of the unmanned Gaganyaan mission, Mr Sivan said ISRO is trying for it by next year's end or by early 2021. "We are targeting the launch for this year but it may spillover to next year," he said.
For the Chandrayaan 3 mission, the ISRO chief said the existing orbiter will be used and a new launch site has been selected. The country's space programme will attempt the mission after Chandrayaan 2's lander Vikram crash-landed on the Moon in September last year.
With inputs from NDTV