The Indian cosmonauts are undergoing training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) following the courses of the general space training program and of the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft. The completion of their training at GCTC is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. The contract for the Indian candidates’ training for a spaceflight was signed between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation on June 27, 2019. On February 10, 2020, GCTC started training of the four Indian cosmonauts.
The entire process of preparation and training takes place in Russia. It includes a number of courses necessary for prospective Indian cosmonauts. The regular courses comprise medical and physical training, learning Russian (as one of the main international languages of communication in space), and studying the configuration, structure and systems of the Soyuz crewed spacecraft. Their health status is monitored on a daily basis, and once every three months, highly professional GCTC doctors conduct their thorough medical examination.
To date, Indian cosmonauts have completed training on crew actions in the event of an abnormal descent module landing: in wooded and marshy areas in winter (completed in February 2020), on the water surface (completed in June 2020), in the steppe in summer (completed in July 2020). In June 2020, all Indian astronauts-elect passed training in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the IL-76MDK special laboratory aircraft, and in July, they were trained to lift aboard a helicopter while evacuating from the descent module landing point.
The program for Indian cosmonauts also includes training in a centrifuge and in a hyperbaric chamber to prepare their organisms for sustaining spaceflight factors, such as G-force, hypoxia and pressure drops. These trainings are to be held in the near future. The GCTC instructors praise the effort and high motivation of the Indian cosmonauts. They also note their extremely serious and very professional attitude to the training process. All of the Indian cosmonauts are in good health and are determined to continue their training.