The Indian Air Force (IAF) will help the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in accomplishing Mission ‘Gaganyaan’, India’s quest to send astronauts to space. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, the IAF chief, said on Friday that the Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine will help in the selection and training of astronauts.
For Gaganyaan, India’s human space program, future astronauts will most likely emerge from a group of elite IAF pilots who are reputed to be high risk takers. These pilots are trained at some of the best training facilities that exist only at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine.
The country’s only centrifuge that can simulate the high gravitation forces that an astronaut will face is located at the institute. Since ISRO has almost no capability in human biology, it is imperative that it takes help from the IAF institute.
“The Institute of Aerospace Medicine will help in the selection and training of personnel for the Indian manned space program,” Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said.
“It is a useful programme. It is indigenous and it is good that we have in-house capabilities since we have done at least the selection of the first cosmonaut.
“You have to ask ISRO when they will do, but Institute of Aerospace Medicine is fully geared up to what they are supposed to do. Selection of the pilot will be done after the QR’s (or qualitative requirements) are finalised. ISRO chief has met me. I have assured him of our full support. It is fantastic to become the fourth nation in the world to have a manned space program,” he added.