The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday said it signed an agreement with the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday for crew selection and training for the country's prestigious maiden manned mission Gaganyaan by 2021-22.
"The agreement was signed by Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Space Operations) Air Vice Marshal R.G.K. Kapoor and Gaganyaan Project Director R. Hutton in the presence of the space agency's Chairman K. Sivan here," tweeted IAF.
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The crew selection and training will be conducted at ISRO's Human Space Flight Centre, opened on January 31 adjacent to its headquarters in the city, to develop technologies for the manned space missions.
On 28 May 19 #IAF signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection & training for the prestigious #Gaganyaan Programme. AVM RGK Kapoor, ACAS Ops (Space), IAF handed over the MoU to Shri R Hutton, Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme. pic.twitter.com/LBJ6YxH6io— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) May 29, 2019
As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018, the space agency will send three astronauts, including a woman, in a capsule into space around the earth's orbit for a week-long rendezvous by December 2021 or 2022, which marks the country's 75th year of independence.
The Rs 9,023-crore ambitious project involves sending a 3-member crew on board a heavy rocket to an altitude of 350-400 km and orbit around the planet for conducting experiments in space during a week-long voyage.
The previous NDA government on December 28, 2018 approved the country's first human space flight programme.
"In the run-up, the space agency will send two unmanned missions before 2021 and the manned mission by 2022," a space official told IANS earlier.
ISRO on January 31 opened a Human Space Flight Centre adjacent to its headquarters here to develop technologies for manned space missions.
The Human Flight Space Centre will also develop engineering systems for crew survival in space and sustained human space flight missions.