ISRO selects 4 astronauts for human space flight mission
Bengaluru, January 1, 2020
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan today said the process of selection of astronauts for Gaganyaan, India's first human space flight mission, has been completed.
“We’ve made good progress in the mission. The process of astronaut selection for the mission is completed," he said at a press conference at ISRO headquarters here.
He said four astronauts have been selected, who will undergo extensive training.
On the capacity building front, a second launch port, exclusively for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV), is planned to be established in Thoothukudi district ofTamil Nadu. “Land acquisition activities are presently in progress," Dr Sivan said, outlinging ISRO's achievements during the year and the plans for 2020.
A second Vehicle Assembly Building at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota was dedicated to the nation during the year for increasing the launch frequency. As part of the enhanced outreach activity, a launch viewing gallery was operationalised in Sriharikota to facilitate viewing of launches live by the public, he said.
During 2019, six launch vehicle and seven satellite missions were realised by ISRO. The year also marked the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Dr Sivan said that two new variants of the PSLV were introduced. For the first time, the spent fourth stage of the PSLV was successfully demonstrated as an experimental orbital platform.
The indigenously developed Vikram processor by Semi-Conductor Laboratory was flight tested during the year. International mobile standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approved India’s regional navigation satellite system NavIC which would facilitate NavIC’s use in mobile phones.
In an effort towards horizontal expansion of ISRO, Space Technology Cells, Space Technology Incubation Centres and Regional Academic Centres for Space were established during the year and many more such centres are planned in the future.
A special programme for school children called “YuvaVIgyaniKAryakram (YUVIKA)" aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications was also introduced during the last year.
To carry forward the industry production of space systems, ISRO incorporated New Space India Limited (NSIL), under the Department of Space and efforts in realising PSLVs from industry initiated.
Speaking about future programmes, Dr Sivan said the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon, comprising a lander and a rover, had been approved by the Government and activities for its realisation are in progress.
Other projects during the year include SSLV, GSLV with 4m ogive payload fairing, GSAT-20 satellite, NavIC with indigenous atomic clocks, Indian Data Relay Satellite System, Aditya-L1 and XPOSAT.