The first level of selection of Indian astronauts for Mission Gaganyaan has been completed at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine here, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Friday.
Gaganyaan is India’s maiden human spaceflight programme.
The selected pilots had to pass through extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, clinical tests, radiological tests and psychology evaluation, the IAF said.
Mission Gaganyaan aims to launch an Indian-crewed spacecraft by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, has said that ISRO is capable of accomplishing this mission within the given time-frame.
The Gaganyaan project is worth Rs 10,000 crore. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech last year. It involves a three-member Indian crew being sent to space for a period of seven days. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km.
Two unmanned and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of the Gaganyaan mission.
Four Indian astronauts will go to Russia by November this year for 15 months of training for this purpose, which will take place at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. The rigorous training in Russia will be followed by further training back home in India for six to eight months.