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PM Modi Reveals Names of Astronauts Chosen for Gaganyaan Mission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the names of four pilots for India’s first human space project, ‘Gaganyaan’, on Tuesday at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The pilots are Group Captain P Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander S Shukla.

PM Modi, who is on a short visit to Kerala, visited the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center where he reviewed the progress of the Gaganyaan Mission and bestowed ‘astronaut wings’ to the astronaut-designates.

About the Gaganyaan mission

The Gaganyaan mission is India’s first manned space mission, aiming for a launch between 2024-2025. The project envisages launching a crew of three humans into an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth by landing in Indian sea waters.

The mission is accomplished through an optimal strategy by considering in-house expertise, the experience of Indian industry, the intellectual capabilities of Indian academia, and research institutions along with cutting-edge technologies available with international agencies, a release by the ISRO said.

Last week, ISRO successfully completed the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine, in a big boost to India’s bid to launch the mission.

“ISRO has accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan missions, with the completion of the final round of ground qualification tests on February 13, 2024. The final test was the seventh of a series of vacuum ignition tests carried out at the High Altitude Test Facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, to simulate the flight conditions,” the ISRO said in a statement.

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