IAF Fighter Pilots to Fly Gaganyaan, India’s First Manned Space Mission

Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots would be playing a crucial role in India’s first manned space flight mission, Gaganyaan which is likely to be launched in 2022. Bengaluru-based IAF’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) has started the process of finalising the crew. On the occasion of 75th Raising Day of the Artificial Limb Centre (ALC) of the Indian Army Director General Armed Forces Medical Service Lieutenant General Bipin Puri said that said that two or three IAF fighter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) would be the main astronauts of the Gaganyaan.

On the sidelines of the event, Lt Gen Puri told The Times of India, “We have got big groups of pilots, of whom the best two or three would be selected for the mission.” Various meetings between the he India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the IAM. Meanwhile, in February this year, reports surfaced that the IAF was asked to train pilots for the mission. ISRO Launches Satellite GSAT-7A to Enhance Communication Capabilities of Indian Air Force.

The IAM is affiliated to the Armed Forces Medical Services and is the only institute in India and South East Asia that conducts research in aerospace medicine. Meanwhile, on January 30, 2019, the ISRO had inaugurated the Human Space Flight Centre at the agency headquarters in Bengaluru. This headquarter will be responsible for the implementation of the Gaganyaan project. IAF Gets First Apache Helicopter During Ceremony Held at Boeing’s Production Facility in United States’ Arizona; Watch Video.

The ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 during an Independence Day speech. If this mission is completed successfully, India will become the fourth nation to launch its manned space aircraft. In its maiden crewed mission, ISRO’s largely autonomous 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board. The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO’s GSLV Mk III.

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ISRO Launches Satellite GSAT-7A to Enhance Communication Capabilities of Indian Air Force

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ISRO launched communication satellite GSAT-7A from Sriharikota (Picture Courtesy: http://www.isro.gov.in)

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched its military communication satellite GSAT-7A from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It is the 35th Indian communication satellite. The weight of GSAT-7A is 2,250 kg. The satellite is expected to enhance the efficiency of the Indian Air Force (IAF) by adding a new space-based dimension to the way it interlinks, operates and communicates with its aircraft.

With the aim to expand the communication capabilities of the IAF, the GSAT-7A will be the first satellite built primarily designed to improve combined, common intelligence during operations. It will connect many of the ground radar stations, airbases and aircrafts operated by the force. The satellite is also expected to boost network-dependant warfare and drone capabilities. Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa hailed the launch. He said that the communication to aircraft through the satellite will be made possible with this launch.

The satellite is using Ku-band which can enable superior real time aircraft-to-aircraft communication between fighter jets while in flight and their commanders on the ground. He satellite will be released into geostationary orbit equipped with solar panels and reflectors by the GSLV-F11 space vehicle. GSLV-F11 is the 13th flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and its 7th flight with indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS).The launch vehicle will release the satellite around 36,000 Km away from the earth. The GSAT-7A is the 17th successful space mission of the ISRO in 2018.