ISRO Gaganyaan: Educational Qualifications of Four Astronauts PM Modi Chose |



The Indian Space Research Organisation is gearing up for the country’s first ever manned-mission – Gaganyaan. On tuesday, PM Narendra Modi announced the names of four astronaut-designates who would be part of the Gaganyaan mission, belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The four astronaut designates- group Captains Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Ajit Krishnan, Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla successfully completed their training at the National Defence Academy (NDA) between 1997 and 2005.After graduating from NDA, they were commissioned into the Indian Air Force (IAF) to serve as officers. Here’s more on the educational qualifications of the four astronaut-designates.
Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair
Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair hails from Nemmara village in Palakkad and graduated from the NDA in 1997. He was honoured with the Sword of Honour at the Air Force Academy (AFA). Additionally, he is an alumnus of the United States Staff College and has served as a DS at Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, and Flying Instructors School (FIS), Tambaram.
Group Captain Ajit Krishnan
Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, born in Chennai on April 19, 1982, joined NDA after completing his Class 12 exams and graduated in 2001-02. He was awarded the President’s Gold Medal and the Sword of Honour at the AFA. Commissioned in June 2003, he is also a graduate of the DSSC in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
Group Captain Angad Pratap
Group Captain Angad Pratap, born in Prayagraj, UP, on July 17, 1982, is an NDA alumnus who completed his training in 2003.
Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla
Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla, a native of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, joined NDA after completing his Class 12 education. Commissioned in 2001, he underwent training at Moscow’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, specializing in various aspects of space operations.
The astronaut-designates for the ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission received training at a variety of institutes and military academies. Here’s a look at those specialised institutes.
United States Staff College
Established in 1881, the United States Staff College serves as a primary institution for the Army’s leader development program. It plays a pivotal role in advancing the art and science of the military profession to meet operational needs.
Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington
Founded in 1947, DSSC Wellington, Tamil Nadu, stands as one of the earliest establishments globally to offer comprehensive training to officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and civil services.
Flying Instructors School (FIS), Tambaram
Founded on April 1, 1948, FIS is a training centre within the Indian Air Force. It specializes in training operational pilots from the Indian Armed Forces and allied nations to become proficient flying instructors.
Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
Established in 1960, the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia is responsible for preparing cosmonauts for their space missions. Initially operated by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the Russian Federal Space Agency, it was later transferred solely to the Russian Federal Space Agency in April 2009 by presidential decree.
The Gaganyaan, literally meaning ‘celestial vehicle’, will carry the astronauts to an orbit of 400 km on a three-day mission and return them safely to Earth by landing in Indian sea waters.
“After 40 years, an Indian will go to space, but this time, the time is also ours, the countdown is also ours. In every nation’s progress, there comes a time when the present introduces its people to the future. Today is such a time for India. Our current generation is blessed because they are able to see success in water, on ground and even in space. This is the beginning of a new era, where India is increasing its space in the global order and it is very visible even in the space sector,” said PM Modi on the occassion, as reported by TOI earlier.





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