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Seven astronauts finish screening in Russia for India's first manned space mission

Seven astronauts finish screening in Russia for India
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A total of seven men have completed screening in Russia for India’s first manned space mission - Gaganyaan.

BENGALURU: A total of seven men have completed screening in Russia for India's first manned space mission - Gaganyaan. According to reports, the final batch of potential astronauts are scheduled to leave for Russia this week. India picked 12 test pilots who cleared level-1 screening for the Gaganyaan programme in September. The mission is scheduled for 2022. Out of the twelve, 2-3 astronauts will be shortlisted.

All the twelve have not been sent together, due to accommodation issues in Russia. They have been sent in bathes of four and three. The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), selected the 12 astronauts out of 60 applicants. The IAM completed one round of screening. The Glavkosmos which is a subsidiary of Russian space agency Roscosmos State Corporation is in the process of screening the screened astronauts.

In July, Isro's Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) and Glavkosmos finalised an agreement under which the Russian agency will provide advanced training to the Gaganyaan astronauts. Hence screening is being done both in India and Russia. Glavkosmos is going to provide consulting support in selection of candidates, providing medical examinations required for the spaceflight training programme and spaceflight-related training for the astronauts selected on the basis of medical tests.

Once they clear the screening, IAM is going to provide basic training to shortlisted astronauts. They will then proceed to Russia for advanced training and return to India to undergo mission-specific training. IAM's level-1 screening includes extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, radiological and clinical tests and psychological evaluation. Air Marshal M S Butola, director-general of medical services (air), said on Thursday the task of selecting the astronauts had been completed on schedule.

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