The Weekend Leader - PM Modi Announces Astronauts for India's Milestone Gaganyaan Mission

PM Modi Announces Astronauts for India's Milestone Gaganyaan Mission

New Delhi/ Thiruvananthapuram


Photo: IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a visit to ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Station on Tuesday, announced the names of four astronauts who have been chosen for India’s historic Gaganyaan mission.

The selected astronauts are currently going through intense training for country’s first human space flight mission, slated for 2025.

The four astronauts, selected for the Gaganyaan mission are Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.

While announcing names of the four astronauts, PM Modi expressed happiness and said that they will bring new glory to nation’s space exploration programs.

Notably, Gaganyaan would be India’s first human space mission. All-out preparations are underway at ISRO for the project.

Gagayaan would add another feat to India’s successful space exploration programs. In previous display of space prowess, India became the only nation last year to make successful landing of Chandrayaan on the South Pole of the Moon.

By 2035, ISRO plans to set up own 'Bharatiya Antariksha Station' and has also prepared a timeline to send first Indian to the Moon by 2040.

Meanwhile, celebrations broke out across Pazhya gramam at Nenmara in Kerala’s Palakkad the hometown of Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his name as one of the group captains for country’s Gaganyaan Mission.

The crowds gathered outside Nair’s house and started to celebrate amid sloganeering and fireworks.

Nair’s parents had gone to ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) centre to listen to PM Modi.

Earlier, PM Modi applauded Nair and also presented an astronaut's badge to him.

Group Captain Nair (47) completed his schooling from Kuwait where his father worked. Following their return to India, Nair joined the Chinmaya Mission School at Palakkad.

Nair joined 93rd NDA course in Khadakwasla and then entered 163rd Pilot’s Course at the Air Force Academy from where he passed out with flying colours by bagging the ‘Sword of Honor’ given to the best outgoing cadet.

Nair was commissioned on June 19, 1999.

Nair’s long time neighbor, an elderly woman, could not hide her happiness and came out to greet the crowd who gathered outside following the news of Nair.

“I have known Nair since the age of 4. He is a humble and polite person. We last saw him when he came home on leave, last year. He is a blessed man and his parents have already prayed for him,” said the elderly woman, who could not hide her tears of joy.

Nenmara MLA K. Babu was also among the crowd who were celebrating. “This is a huge honor for Nenmara. Each one of us is excited and proud that Nair has got this rare honor,” Babu said.

The celebrating people are also planning to give Nair a grand reception whenever he visits his hometown after his professional duties get over. - IANS

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