Sunday, 26 October 2008

Astronaut training centre for manned mission on anvil

Astronaut training centre for manned mission on anvil

Bangalore, Oct 25 : India will set up an astronaut training facility here as part of plans to undertake a manned mission to the moon by 2015, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation G Madhavan Nair said today.

At the proposed facility, astronauts would be trained for "surviving under the Zero G conditions, radiation environment, long journey in the space and so on," Nair, also secretary in the Department of Space, said.

He said Bangalore-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine of Indian Air Force, would contribute significantly in this regard. Nair said a centrifuge was required where acceleration can be simulated while going up in the space. Also featuring in the training centre would be a swimming pool-like facility where trainee astronauts would undergo zero-gravity simulation.

In addition, various types of thermal cycling and radiation simulation chambers would also be built, he told reporters at Byalalu on the city outskirts, where Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa honoured key ISRO scientists on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1 to explore the moon.

"We have got 40 acres (for astronaut training facility) beyond the new (Bangalore) airport. We may require another 100 acre. Just now, I talked to the CM and he was very positive," Nair said. He also said ISRO would build a new launch pad (at an investment of around Rs 600 crore) for the manned mission at the spaceport of Sriharikota. Development activity for rocket and capsule for the manned mission would be taken up at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, supported by ISRO satellite centres here and in Ahmedabad, Nair added.

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