04:10 GMT +320 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India is preparing its manned space mission Gaganyaan, a seven-day operation scheduled for January 2022. The $1.31 billion mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address to the nation on 15 August 2019.  

    Indian astronauts scheduled to fly into space as part of Mission “Gaganyaan” will need to eat, and the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) in the southern Indian city of Mysore has been tasked with creating astronaut-friendly food such as Veg Pulav, Egg Rolls and Idli for the crew. The menu also includes mouth-watering sweet dishes like Monng Daal Halwa.

    Additionally, DFRL would provide them with food heaters to ensure something resembling an oven-cooked meal for space explorers to enjoy while in orbit. Due to there being zero gravity in space, special packets and containers have been custom-made for the astronauts.

    Training for the four astronauts shortlisted for the manned mission would begin in Russia from the third week of January. “All shortlisted candidates belong to the Indian Air Force. Now the training of astronauts will begin in the third week of January in Russia,” K Sivan, Chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said last week.

    ​ISRO has set up a ‘Human Space Flight Centre’ in Bengaluru, a city in the southern state of Karnataka. The agency would conduct two unmanned missions before the actual operation to ensure the safety and security of the crew.

    Meanwhile, ISRO has also begun work for its third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 – a second attempt to soft land on the lunar surface after the failure of Chandrayaan-2, where the lander crash-landed on the surface. The launch is scheduled for early 2021.

    The ISRO chief said: "The government has approved Chandrayaan-3. The work on it is going on smoothly. It may need roughly 14-16 months of work prior to launch.”


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