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Who is Prashanth Nair, the Astronaut selected for Gaganyaan Mission?

By Akanksha - February 27, 2024 10:41 PM

Four test pilots were chosen for India's first manned space trip, Gaganyaan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed their identities on Tuesday. The list has Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, a resident of Palakkad's Nenmara, making Kerala proud. The other mission team members are Wing Commander Subhanshu Shukla, Group Captains Ajith Krishnan and Ankad Pratap.

Prashanth is an Air Force Group Captain and a Sukhoi jet pilot. He is the child of Koolanghaat Pramila and Valampil Balakrishnan. Prashanth enrolled at NSS Engineering College, Palakkad, and thereafter entered the National Defense Academy (NDA). In June 1999, after completing his training at the academy, he received his commission in the Air Force.

Nair is a renowned graduate, awarded the "Sword of Honour" by the Hyderabad Air Force Academy in 1998 and first-class honours from the US Air Command and Staff College.

Prashanth oversaw the group of pilots that underwent an 18-month training program in Russia before being chosen for the Gaganyan mission. At Bengaluru's Human Space Center, more preparations were made as the crew readied itself for the historic flight.

Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, wished Prashanth on his X account. 'Warm wishes to the 4 astronaut designates of @isro's esteemed #Gaganyan mission. A moment of pride for Kerala as Group Captain Prashanth Nair from Palakkad takes the helm. The mission is poised to create history, marking a trailblazing achievement in Indian space research,' Vijayan continued.

Prashanth Nair's Career Background

The Indian Air Force-affiliated Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) included Nair in its roster of candidates for astronauts in 2019. Afterwards, ISRO and IAM shortlisted him for the final four. In 2020, he and three other chosen Vyomanauts travelled to Russia for basic training. In 2021, basic training was finished. After that, he went back to India to train at Bangalore's Astronaut Training Facility.

At ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, on February 27, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the formal announcement of his inclusion in the astronaut team. This was the first time his name had been made public as a member of the astronaut crew for India's first space voyage.

Also Read: Who is Ajit Krishnan, the Astronaut selected for Gaganyaan Mission?

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About the Author:

Akanksha Sinha

I'm Akanksha Sinha, an expert in writing sports blogs, news, and various articles for entertainment and more. I bring a unique flair to my work, providing insightful perspectives on the world of sports.

My articles aim to inform and entertain, making me a go-to source for sports enthusiasts seeking a blend of information and enjoyment. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, I consistently deliver compelling narratives that resonate with a diverse audience.