Even as Republic of India and also the US spar over the former’s defence contracts with Russia, the Indian area analysis Organisation (Isro) has finally signed the agreement to urge its astronauts for the projected Gaganyaan mission trained in Russia, whilst alternative countries together with the US and France were being thought of at first.


Isro chairman K Sivan told TOI in March that the agency was most likely to pick Russia given that the two agencies have had previous experience—Russian took India’s Rakesh Sharma to space—and the Institute of biomedicine (IAM) beneath the Indian Air Force (IAF) has additionally worked with Russia.


Rakesh Sharma, who is also a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) advising Isro on the Gaganyaan mission, told TOI: “I think it’s logical to go with Russia as it has been tried and tested. We’ve used the ability before and thus it makes eminent sense. Although i’m unaware of the state of readiness of the opposite coaching institutions. And, given the tight timelines that we’ve this seems most obvious.”


On Monday, Natalia Lokteva, first deputy director general, Glavkosmos—a subsidiary of Roscosmos State Corporation (Russia’s space agency)—and S Unnikrishnan Nair, director, Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) of Isro, signed a contract for “selection support, medical examination and space training of Indian astronauts.”


An official statement issued by Glavkosmos confirming the contract, read: “Glavkosmos will render to HSFC services on consulting support of selection of candidates for the Indian astronauts, providing medical examination of the candidates for access to area flight connected educational program and providing area flight connected coaching for the Indian astronauts elite on the idea of the examination,” said in a statement released Monday.


The work are given the support of the Federal State Budget Organization, UA cosmonaut analysis traveler coaching Center, and the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


“As part of the documents we had given IAF we had described the kind of requirement and involvement of foreign agencies for training and so on… The training will be at three levels. After the rigorous choice progress, two levels of training will be done at IAM and the third level will be done abroad. Simulation of the important area atmosphere, parabolic flights and coaching within the craft et al are done abroad,” Sivan had earlier told TOI.
Russia additionally trains astronauts from across the globe seeking to travel the close to earth orbits. “As you well know that presently the only access to space to near earth orbit is provided by the Russians. And therefore despite that crew goes up into orbit, the final training is done in Russia as they have to equip themselves with the systems of the Russian spacecraft,” Sharma said.


Isro established the HSFC to develop life support systems, crew coaching and coming up with for future missions beneath Gaganyaan.


During his visit in Sept 2018, Jean-Yves Le Gall, president, French space agency—Centro Nacional de Estudios Espaciales (CNES)— announced a working group for Gaganyaan and told said that there are a lot of areas of human space travel that France has experience within which it’d wish to supply. “We even have experience in astronauts’ coaching,” Gall had told TOI, adding that the agency was keen on partnering with ISRO.