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‘Indian Air Force ready for space challenge’

The Indian Air Force and its arms are fully geared up for supporting the first Indian human space mission of 2022, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal B.S.Dhanoa said on Friday.

Coming at a short notice, the Human Space Flight Programme or HSP is daunting and throws a different kind of challenge at the IAF, he said. "We have in-house capabilities at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine [IAM]; we have selected our cosmonauts in the past. IAM will play a key role in human engineering support and the development of the space crew capsule. It is fully geared up to whatever tasks it must do," Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said at the institute’s annual aerospace medicine conference.

Selection of astronauts would take 12-14 months.

Indian Space Research Organisation, which is tasked with the mission, also called Gaganyaan, has earlier said its three astronauts will most likely be from among the IAF’s test pilots. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said ISRO Chairman K.Sivan has discussed the project with him and the astronauts would be selected and trained at IAM and other places once the specific requirements of the flyers are finalised.

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