ISRO Gaganyaan Mission Astronaut Training Put On Hold Due To Coronavirus


ISRO has been playing a pivotal role in developing ventilators during the COVID-19 crisis. This means, a lot of ISRO missions have taken the back seat and have been put on hold. Importantly, the ISRO Gaganyaan mission having four astronauts going to space and their training has also been delayed.

ISRO Delays Gaganyaan Astronaut Training Due To Lockdown

ISRO Gaganyaan Astronauts Training Paused

The four test pilots were handpicked from the India Air Force to be part of the first manned mission by India. They had already begun training at the Yu.A. Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow since February. However, with the virus outbreak, the center has been shut down since last week, sources said.

"Our (prospective) astronauts are fine. They are currently in the hostel. We have been told the center will open by the month-end," a source told PTI. The training, spanned over 12 months, had a buffer of three months to factor in exigencies. This means that the suspension of the training shouldn't drastically affect the astronauts.

Apart from the three astronauts, flight surgeons who specialize in aviation medicines are also part of the Gaganyaan mission and are currently stationed in Russia to develop a good rapport. Currently, ISRO has one flight surgeon and an ISRO official in Russia.

ISRO Ganganyaan Mission

The ISRO Ganagyaan mission is the country's first manned mission and is currently scheduled to liftoff in 2022. The mission is budgeted around Rs. 10,000 crores and three Indians will be traveling to the low-Earth orbit, which is roughly 300-400 km away. ISRO sources say that the agency has issued a one-month hold on the training of these astronauts.

"Our activities in Russia are not on track. Since both India and Russia require quarantine of 14 days after travel, we have asked our team to stay put there. So there is no point in sending anyone there now. The fresh team will not go to Russia until things settle down," the source added.


Apart from training in Russia, the flight surgeons were to be trained at CNES, the space agency in France. However, this will also be delayed now. At the same time, ISRO and CNES are cooperating to keep the preparations going for the mission.

Best Mobiles in India

Read More About: news isro science

Best Phones

Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Yes No
Settings X