Independence Day Address Current Affairs - 2020

MoU: signed between IAF and ISRO

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for astronaut selection and training for ambitious Gaganyaan Programme, scheduled for 2022.

Key Highlight

  • IAF has signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection and training for prestigious Gaganyaan Programme. The MoU was handed over by R G K Kapoor, Air Vice Marshal to the Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme, R Hutton.
  • The signing of MoU was an official formality that will now kick-start the selection process which would take 12-14 months following which training will begin.
  • Training: Most of the basic training will happen in India but ISRO is also looking for foreign help for advanced training. From IAF’s side, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will undertake and lead the selection and training of astronauts.

Procedure Undertaken:

  • The IAM will first start with a pool of 30 aspirants, of whom, only 15 will be picked and given basic training.
  • As the plan is to send three member crew so IAM will shortlist three sets of three (i.e. nine) and will let one set go about three months before scheduled launch with others remaining in programme till the launch date.
  • The first set of evaluations will take around three months as IAM will have to ensure that it picks best crew whose physical condition is among best in India and they also have right mental make up.

About Gaganyaan Mission

  • Background: The launch of Gaganyaan programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address in 2018.
  • Gaganyaan Mission is India’s maiden human spaceflight programme, scheduled for 2022.
  • Updates: The Centre has officially sanctioned Rs.10,000 crore in December 2018. On 30 January 2019, ISRO has set up Human Spaceflight Centre at its headquarters in Bengaluru. Before sending humans to space ISRO plans to send humanoids so that it able to see a host of developments relating to project.
  • Significance: This mission will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space to India for conducting experiments and test for future technologies.

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