Training of Gaganyaan astronauts in Russia put on hold due to lockdown
New Delhi, Apr 06: The training of Gaganyaan's four prospective astronauts in Russia has been put on hold as the facility where the exercise is being undertaken has been temporarily shut in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, sources said on Monday.
The four test pilots of the Indian Air Force, chosen for India's manned mission to space, have been undergoing training at the Yu.A. Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow since February. However, since last week the centre has been shut due to coronavirus outbreak, sources said.
“Our (prospective) astronauts are fine. They are currently in hostel. We have been told the centre will open by the end of the month,” a source said.
When asked whether the suspension of training for nearly four weeks will hurt the training programme, the sources added that although the training programme spans over 12 months, they had kept a buffer of three months to factor in exigencies. India's first manned mission to space -- Gaganyaan -- is planned around 2022.