‘Human space flight sans animal trials challenging’

He was speaking at the 57th annual conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine, here on Friday.  

Published: 15th September 2018 05:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2018 05:39 AM   |  A+A-

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa (extreme right) releases an application at the event | PUSHKAR V

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The human space programme (HSP) planned by India has been complicated by the decision to send humans to space first, without sending animals to space for trial, according to Air Commodore Anupam Agarwal, Commandant, Institute of Aerospace Medicine.

He was speaking at the 57th annual conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine, here on Friday.  While other countries which have completed HSP have tested by sending animals to space, India will have to send humans first, he said. Apart from it, he said there were several challenges for the completion of the project, including the know-how of some technologies which the country has to develop by itself. He said the process of selection of Gaganauts for HSP will take 12-14 months. Indian Air Force is looking at candidates with psychological toughness, but yet unaggressive and caring, he said.Commenting on the possible issues faced during HSP, he said it was essential to understand the cultural nuances of different Gaganauts, which will be a key factor in the programme.

IAF to revive pilot-doctor programme

The Indian Air Force is looking at re-introducing the pilot-doctor programme which was discontinued almost four decades ago. It is being done following demands from various defence agencies, including the Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine “(ISAM). Addressing the 57th annual conference of the society on Friday, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said the suggestion for the resurrection of the programme came from Director General of Medical Services, Indian Army. “ISAM had also batted for the reintroduction of the course,” he said. Under the programme, doctors will be trained to fly both combat and transport aircraft. This will also help in maintaining a good relationship between the crew doctor and the crew, crucial in combat areas with climatological extremes, he added. The 57th annual conference on ‘Aerospace Medicine - Field Applications’, is being held at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in the city from September 14-16. On Saturday, retired Air Vice Marshal Pankaj Tyagi is scheduled to talk on ‘Indian Space Programme: Past, Present and Future’.

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