ISRO to set up Astronaut Training Facility near Bangalore

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Bangalore, Oct 25 (UNI) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has planned its first manned mission to space in the next five to six years, has decided to set up an Astronaut Training Centre near here at a cost of Rs 1000 crore.

Informing this to reporters, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the Organisation had 40 acres of land near the Greenfield Bengaluru International Airport, about 40 km North of the city and added it would require another 100 acres of land to set up the facility.

''Today I held some discussions with Karnataka Chief Minister Minister B S Yeddyurappa and he has given a positive response. I think in three year's time this centre would be ready. We need two to three years to train astronauts,'' he said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function where the Karnataka government felicitated top scientists of ISRO on their successful launch of Chandrayaan-1, Mr Nair said the centre would have new technologies and deal with rescue and recovery aspect, how to survive in zero gravity situation, study of radiation environment and the long journey in space.

''After looking at various aspects, we decided on Bangalore.

Already, we have an Aviation Medicine Institute here. This Institute has been contributing significantly in this (training astronaut) area,'' he said.

He said for the manned mission, ISRO would have other new facilities like a new launch pad (the third) at its spaceport in Sriharikota and various other developmental activities. Then comes the development of capsule, the satellite and the launch vehicle itself, he said.

He said ISRO would build some centrifugals to study and train astronauts on acceleration aspect when the vehicle zooms into space and in zero gravity simulation. ''It will be like a big swimming pool where people can go underneath and learn how to live in zero gravity situation. Then there will be types of thermal cycling and radiation regulating chambers. All these facilities would come up in this centre,'' he added.

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