Odisha News Insight

Odisha-born Pilot Nikhil Rath Completes First Phase of Traning For Mission Gaganyaan

The Indian cosmonauts-elect, who were selected for Mission Gaganyaan – India’s manned mission to space in 2022, have completed the first phase of their training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC). Odisha born IAF pilot Wing Commander Nikhil Rath is among the four cosmonauts who were shortlisted for the training in Russia.

The training of the Indian cosmonauts-elect had begun on February 10 this year following a contract which was signed between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation in June last year.

The training and preparation module includes a number of medical and physical training, including learning Russian and studying the configuration, structure and systems of the Soyuz crewed spacecraft, an international space portal reported.

The Russian Space Corporation Roscosmos also stated that the training on crew actions in all weather and all-terrain had been completed – wooden and marshy areas in winter (February 2020), on the water surface (June 2020) and in the steppe in summer (July 2020).

The cosmonauts-elect have also cleared training in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the special IL-76MDK laboratory aircraft.

In a statement, Roscosmos also stated that the cosmonauts-elect were in good health, and that their health status is monitored daily and once in three months by highly professional GCTC doctors. The training is expected to be completed by first quarter of 2021.

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