PUNE: The Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM), a centre of the Indian Air Force, is in talks with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to provide medical support to crew members of Gaganyaan, India's maiden manned space mission.
ISRO plans to send a three-member crew to space for seven days by 2022 under the Gaganyaan programme.
"ISRO has contacted us to collaborate with IAM which conducts research in aerospace medicine and trains airmen and pilots," said Bipin Puri, Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
Bengaluru-based IAM is affiliated to the AFMS.
"Since the infrastructure such as simulators at IAM is one of the best in the country, ISRO wants to join hands with IAM to train the crew members of Gaganyaan mission," he said.
Puri was talking to reporters on the sidelines of 67th Annual Armed Forces Medical Conference here.
Air Marshal Rajvir Singh, Director General, Medical Services (AIR) said the challenge of providing life support in space is very complex.
"The complexities of life support in space are enormous. And IAM is the only centre in the country to contribute in this direction. We are currently in discussion with ISRO to provide full spectrum of life support to the crew members of the space mission," he said.
IAM, which conducts MD programs in aerospace medicine, is the only institute in India and South East Asia which conducts research in aerospace medicine, he said.
"We also conduct programs for pilots and airmen to improve their effectiveness in the cockpit," he added.
As per the IAM website, the institute, earlier called Institute of Aviation Medicine, had provided medical support to the Indo-Soviet Manned Space Flight programme in 1980s.
Puri, meanwhile, also informed that the AFMS is going to start a three-year MD program in marine medicine for doctors deployed on ships and submarines.
"The reason is that Indian Navy is spreading its footprints by going everywhere, and since maritime rules are different, the challenges faced by the members related to health on ships and submarines are also different," he said.