NEW DELHI: The four gagannauts, who had returned to India from Russia in April this year after completing their over one-year specialised astronaut training for the country’s maiden Gaganyaan mission, will travel back to Moscow for tailoring of their customized spacesuits.
“The spacesuits are being stitched in Russia and they will be coming here to Moscow to undertake tailoring measurements,” Indian ambassador to Russia D B Venkatesh Varma told the Indian media recently.
Russian R&D enterprise ‘Zvezda’, a subsidiary of Russian space agency Roscosmos, is manufacturing the spacesuits for the four gagannauts. The four IAF pilots, chosen for the human spaceflight mission, had earlier visited the Zvezda facility last September, where their anthropometric parameters were measured for designing their customized spacesuits. The company will also provide individual seats for the gagannauts and custom-made couch liners. The provisions for specialized training, spacesuits and space kits are as per a contract signed between Roscosmos subsidiary Glavkosmos and Isro’s Human Spaceflight Centre on March 11, 2020.
The four gagganauts, who started their training in Russia in February last, which was stalled in between due to the pandemic, have in one year completed training on crew actions in the event of an abnormal descent module landing, in wooded and marshy areas in winter, on the water surface and in the steppe in summer, according to Glavkosmos. Currently, the chosen four are undergoing module-specific training in India.
In another milestone linked to the Gaganyaan mission, Isro had on August 28 successfully conducted the first hot test of the system demonstration model of the Gaganyaan service module propulsion system for a duration of 450 seconds at its test facility Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The system performance met the test objectives and there was a close match with the pre-test predictions. A series of hot tests have been planned to simulate various mission conditions as well as off-nominal conditions.
Isro plans to launch its first unmanned Gaganyaan mission next year but the date for the final manned mission has not been decided yet as the pandemic has affected all mission-specific deadlines.