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Russia starts training crew for India's 1st manned space mission

Russia starts training crew for India's 1st manned space mission
Four Indian astronauts that will take part in their country's first manned space mission have begun tuition at Russia's famed Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC) after coming through a rigorous selection process at home.

The quartet, sent by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), commenced training on Monday, the center announced in a statement. Their names have yet to be revealed, but all of them are well-trained military pilots, it stated.

"All candidates served as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. After serious tests, they were selected by India's national space agency to undergo training at the CPC," Pavel Vlasov, the center's director, said.

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Named after Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly to space, the CTC will provide comprehensive one-year training involving "regular physical exercises as well as studying the Soyuz spacecraft systems."

Indian astronauts will also learn how to survive harsh climate conditions if their landing capsule veers off the normal trajectory, and will experience simulated zero-gravity during training flights on the purpose-built Ilyushin IL-76MDK plane.

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