Indian Air Force Wing Commander Nikhil Rath from Odisha is one among the four astronauts selected for ISRO’s first human-crewed mission to space known as “Gaganayaan”. Reportedly it was supposed to launch on next year, but now it is expected on 2022 in the 75th year of Indian Independence.
The Balangir Native Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot has recently completed the first phase of training in crew actions at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Russia and then on 10th February the training for GCTC of the four Indian cosmonauts started.
These four cosmonauts, including Nikhil Rath, completed their training in all weather and all-region modules. On June they were trained on the water surface, and in July they completed the training with all the COVID safety protocols. It is reported that the astronauts will fly up to 300 to 400 KM altitude into space.
In 2018 Independence speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about the Gaganyaan Project – a seven-day mission with around 10000 crore money sanctioned for the mission.
As per Roscosmos, these four are in excellent health and are very much delimited in their training. Soon their practice in a centrifuge and hyperbaric chamber to prepare their organisms for supporting spaceflight factors as G-force, Hypoxia and pressure drops will be started. It is expected that all the training modules will be completed by next year.
Nikhil Rath is a native of Balangir, son of Ashok Rath who is a renowned advocate and also a leader of Bolangir District. His mother Kusum rath is an active member of Mahila Commission. He finished his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya in 1998 and 12th from Delhi Public School in 2000.
While pursuing his graduation at Hindu College, he got selected for NDA (National Defence Academy), and in 2003 he joined Indian Air Force (IAF). He was chosen from among 25 test pilots, but three other test pilots have also been chosen for the lunar mission.
Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty
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