Home Technology Top Stories Business Most Featured Sports Social Issues Animals News Fashion Crypto Featured Music & Pop Culture Travel & Tourism

India's First Space Flight Mission Will Be Conducted with 4 Astronauts

Author Avatar
By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
A rocket shoots into space
photo | SpaceX/unsplash

India has officially announced the selection of four Air Force pilots to participate in the nation's first human spaceflight venture, Gaganyaan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed the designated "astronauts" at Kerala's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

The chosen pilots, Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla, are esteemed test pilots, praised by Modi as 'the pride of today's India'.

These pilots have been undergoing rigorous training at the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) astronaut training facility in Bengaluru to prepare for the Gaganyaan mission.

The term "Gaganyaan" translates to "celestial vehicle" in Sanskrit.

The mission, set for 2025, aims to launch a manned spacecraft into orbit at an altitude of 249 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth.

ISRO has made significant progress in various aspects of its mission.

In anticipation of the mission launch, key tests have been conducted, including evaluating emergency escape systems and recovery procedures.

India's space program has achieved notable milestones, such as the Chandrayaan-3 moon landing and the Aditya-1 solar probe launch to Earth-sun Lagrange Point 1.

Moreover, India's space ambitions include plans to establish an orbiting space station by 2035 and land astronauts on the moon by 2040, solidifying its position among select nations with human spaceflight capabilities.

The Gaganyaan mission symbolizes a monumental leap in India's space endeavors. With a projected crewed spacecraft launch in 2025, ISRO is actively preparing for this historic voyage.

Prime Minister Modi's announcement of the selected astronauts underscores India's dedication to space exploration and the expertise of its Air Force pilots.


Indian PM Modi greeting the selected space astronuats
PM Modi exchanging greetings with the 4 astronauts | PIB/Forbes


An essential test in October demonstrated the crew's safe escape in case of a rocket malfunction.

Plans for a test flight will send a robot to space in 2024 before human astronauts in 2025.

At an Isro Center function in Thiruvananthapuram, the four astronaut-designates were hailed as "dreamers, adventurers, and valiant men preparing to go into space."

Chosen from the Indian Air Force, the officers, Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla, underwent extensive physical and psychological testing before selection.

Following 13 months of rigorous training in Russia, they continue their intensive preparation in India. Isro also showcased Vyommitra, a female humanoid set for space travel later this year.

The Gaganyaan Mission, India's premier human spaceflight program, is currently undergoing extensive preparations across various Isro centers, costing 90 billion rupees ($1 billion; £897 million).

The selected individuals have undertaken rigorous training, both nationally and internationally, to equip themselves for the challenges of space travel, leveraging their roles as test pilots to succeed in this historic mission.

ISRO's tests and preparations confirm its commitment to the safety and success of the Gaganyaan mission.

India, venturing into human spaceflight, faces challenges like risks from space debris and creating a sustainable spacecraft environment.

Despite these hurdles, India's space program continues to break barriers and achieve remarkable feats driven by innovation and resolve.