India, France discuss Mission Alpha-type equipment for Question astronauts


NEW DELHI: The space agencies of India and France are at an advanced stage of discussions to provide the necessary equipment for “Gaganyaan” astronauts, similar to that which will be used by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet for the Alpha mission next year, officials said.
A senior official at the Center national d’études spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, said work on equipping the Alpha mission was underway.French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, as part of the European Space Agency (ESA), will return to the International Space Station (ISS) by flying on the Crew Dragon spacecraft early next year.

“Discussions are at the final stage. An announcement should be made shortly. Work on the instrumentation of Mission Alpha is in progress ”, declared the CNES manager without giving more details on the equipment.

India and France share a solid collaboration in the field of space. The two countries’ space agencies are also collaborating on the nearly Rs 10,000 crore Gaganyaan mission which aims to send three Indians into space by 2022.

Last year, air surgeon Brigitte Godard, then at CNES, was in India to train doctors and engineers.

France has a well-established mechanism for space medicine. It also has the MEDES space clinic (French Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology), a subsidiary of CNES, where space surgeons are trained.
“Indian space surgeons will also be visiting France next year once the coronavirus situation improves,” an ISRO official said. He also did not comment on the specific collaboration for providing the equipment to Gaga’s astronauts.

Four preselected Indian Air Force pilots and future astronauts for the Gagangyaan mission are currently in training in Russia.

At the same time, “Alpha” was chosen as the name of the new Pesquet mission after a competition organized by the European Space Agency in partnership with CNES which attracted more than 27,000 applicants.

The name came 47 times in the entries received.

Pesquet, who spent six months on the ISS between November 2016 and June 2017, is currently training with the Crew Dragon spacecraft and station simulators for Mission Alpha.

To give European scientists the opportunity to access the ISS and coordinate the station’s activities, ESA has set up User Support and Operations Centers (USOC), including the CADMOS center for the development of microgravity and space operations applications at CNES Toulouse Space The center is one, according to an official statement on Mission Alpha.

For human spaceflight, CADMOS is the point of contact between the ground segments in Europe, the United States and Russia and the scientific teams that support the astronauts, as they perform experiments in real time. he adds.


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