PM Modi reveals names of Gaganyaan astronauts : The Tribune India

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PM Modi reveals names of Gaganyaan astronauts

PM Modi reveals names of Gaganyaan astronauts

PM Modi pins astronaut ‘wings’ on Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Ajit Krishnan, Angad Pratap and Shubhanshu Shukla, who have been selected to be on India’s first crewed mission to space, ‘Gaganyaan Mission’, at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. PTI



Tribune News Service

Shubhadeep Choudhury

New Delhi, February 27

Making a historic announcement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed the names of four astronauts who are currently undergoing training for India’s first-ever human space flight mission — Gaganyaan.

Addressing a gathering at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram, the PM introduced to the nation the astronauts: Group Captains Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Pratap, Ajit Krishnan, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla. They are all IAF fighter pilots.

Bestowing them with the prestigious ‘astronaut wings,’ Modi hailed the astronauts as “four forces” representing the aspirations of India’s 140 crore population.

India’s first manned space mission

The Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human space flight capability by sending astronauts to an intended low earth orbit for a 3-day mission and bring them back to the earth, according to ISRO.

He emphasised the significance of the mission, noting that after four decades, an Indian was poised to venture into space. “This time around, the countdown, the timing, and even the rocket would be ours,” he declared. Lauding the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the PM said the space agency was playing a key role in sowing the seeds of scientific temperament among young generations.

The PM said because of the ISRO’s success in carrying out difficult missions, many children now wanted to become scientists when they grow up. “The countdown of the rocket inspires lakhs of children in India, and those making paper planes today dream of becoming scientists,” Modi said.

India’s space economy will grow five-fold and touch US $44 billion in next 10 years, said Modi, adding that India was becoming a global commercial hub for space sector.

Comparing India’s achievements in the space sector in the past 10 years with the decade before 2014, the PM said 400 satellites were launched by ISRO since 2014 compared to only 33 in the previous decade.

The number of space startups shot up to more than 200 from two or three in the decade before 2014, Modi said, underscoring how the space sector had grown in the county since he took over as the PM.

At the VSSC, the PM virtually inaugurated the PSLV Integration Facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, and Semi-Cryogenics Integrated Engine and Stage Test Facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri. He also inaugurated the Trisonic Wind Tunnel at VSSC. The estimated total cost of the projects is Rs 1,800 crore.

The PSLV integration facility will help in boosting the frequency of PSLV launches from six to 15 per year. This facility can also cater to the launches of SSLV and other small launch vehicles designed by private space companies.

Gaganyaan’s chosen 4

Group Capt Prasanth b Nair

  • Born in Thiruvazhiyad, Kerala, on August 26, 1976. Alumnus of NDA and United States Staff College
  • Commissioned on December 19, 1998, in the fighter stream
  • Recipient of ‘sword of honour’ at Air Force Academy
  • Category-A flying instructor and a test pilot with over 3,000 hours of flying experience
  • Has flown Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Hawk, Dornier, An-32. Commanded a Sukhoi-30 MKI squadron

Group Capt Ajit Krishnan

  • Belonging to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, he’s an alumnus of NDA and DSSC, Wellington; a recipient of President’s Gold Medal and ‘sword of honour’ at Air Force Academy
  • Commissioned on June 21, 2003, in the fighter stream
  • Flying Instructor and a test pilot with over 2,900 hours of flying experience
  • Has flown Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-21, Mig-29, Jaguar, Dornier, An-32

Group Capt Angad Pratap

  • Native of Prayagraj, UP
  • Alumnus of NDA and commissioned on December 18, 2004, in the fighter stream
  • Flying instructor and a test pilot with over 2,000 hours of flying experience
  • Has flown a variety of planes — Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32

Wg Cdr Shubhanshu Shukla

  • Born in Lucknow, UP, on October 10, 1985, he’s an alumnus of NDA; commissioned on June 17, 2006, in the fighter stream
  • ‘Fighter combat leader’ and a test pilot with approximately 2,000 fours of flying experience
  • Has flown Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-21, MiG-29, Jaguar, Hawk, Dornier, An-32

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Gaganyaan #Narendra Modi


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