4 final Gaganyaan astronauts will start training in Russia from the week of January 3

BENGALURU: The president of Isro, K Sivan, said that a lot of design work has been completed and said: There will be several tests that we will do this year. In addition, the final four chosen astronauts have been selected and they will begin training in Russia from the third week of January.

He also said that Ganaganyaan's first unmanned flight is also the goal of this year. Relieving fears that these big ticket projects will hinder other missions, Sivan said: We are seeing more than 25 missions this year.

TOI had reported in November that two lots of astronauts elected to Ganganyaan, a total of seven men, have completed the selection process in Russia and the last group of five men will leave for Russia this weekend. Of these, Sivan said, the last four have already been chosen.

In the first week of September, India chose 12 test pilots who passed the level 1 test for the Gaganyaan program, a human space flight program that plans to send Indian astronauts into space by 2022.

The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), which selected the 12 astronauts from 60 applicants, had completed an evaluation round, and now Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of the State Corporation of Roscosmos (Russian space agency), has completed the evaluation, allowing the selection of the last four.

In July, the Isro Human Space Flight Center (HSFC) and Glavkosmos finalized an agreement that will allow the Russian agency to provide advanced training.

Since the training will be conducted in both India and Russia, Glavkosmos also examined the astronauts, a source said.

Glavkosmos will provide consulting support services for the selection of candidates for Indian astronauts, providing a medical examination of candidates for access to the space flight-related training program and providing space-related training for selected Indian astronauts in basis for medical examination.

Level 1 astronaut selection at AMI included extensive physical exercise tests, laboratory investigations, radiological tests, clinical tests and evaluation in various facets of their psychology.

Air Marshal MS Butola, director of general medical services (Air) had said in November: “We have completed the task of selecting astronauts well on time and we have completed it well. The task ahead is complex, intense and slow. Many advanced countries have faced challenges and abandoned it (human space program).

Butola added that India is the first country to launch a human live into space as opposed to others who had sent animals as an experiment before the actual human missions.

IAM, its commander Air Commodore Anupam Banerjee, said he has completed the first of the 16 tasks assigned as part of Gaganyaan. He did not elaborate what the others were. “The initial selection is the first of the 16 tasks assigned to IAM. The rest will be more complex, ”he said.