A head of the Indian Space Research Organization announced on the 27th that India will start a series of flight tests for its first manned spaceflight in February next year.
India plans to use Chinook helicopters and C-17A transport aircraft to test the crew capsule, Uma Maheshwaran, director of the organization’s Human Space Flight Center, told the Indian Space Congress in New Delhi. As part of the “Gaganyan” manned spaceflight program, the crew module will send astronauts into orbit.
The official said that Indian scientists have completed the design of an environmental control system to ensure the living conditions of the astronauts in the capsule while orbiting the earth. Four Indian astronaut candidates have completed their initial training in Russia and are currently undergoing further training at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bangalore.
In August 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his speech on India’s Independence Day that the country will implement the first manned space launch of the “Gaganyan” program on the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022. On September 15 this year, Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendran Singh said that India’s first manned space launch was postponed to 2024 due to the impact of the new crown epidemic.
According to a recent report by India’s “Channel 18” news website, as planned, India will first implement two unmanned space flight tests, and then the Indian Space Research Organization will evaluate the test results. If all goes well, India plans to launch a spacecraft carrying at least two astronauts into low-Earth orbit in 2024.