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Diversify selection of crew: Astronauts to Isro

THE ASIAN AGE. | B.R. SRIKANTH
Published : Jan 24, 2020, 2:23 am IST
Updated : Jan 24, 2020, 2:34 am IST

Sultan Al Neyadi of the UAE mooted the idea of change in the selection process of crew members.

The message for change in selection criteria emerged at a discussion among astronauts.
 The message for change in selection criteria emerged at a discussion among astronauts.

Bengaluru: Astronauts from across the world held out a message for ISRO, urging the latter to introduce new criteria for the selection of crew and diversify the selection process so as to help doctors, scientists, engineers and the like to make the cut.

The message for change in selection criteria emerged at a discussion among astronauts from France, Germany, USA and UAE and a lone cosmonaut from Russia held in Bengaluru Thursday as part of the international symposium on “Human Spaceflight & Exploration: Present Challenges & Future Trends”.

Sultan Al Neyadi of the UAE mooted the idea of change in the selection process of crew members. “Being an engineer helped me a lot as we have the mindset to deal with equipment and communicate with colleagues who are working in different modules. I know that many people think that pilots are the most favourable candidates for a space flight, but everyone provides inputs to have a successful flight,” he said.

He was backed by a French astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy who said, “If all the crew members are pilots, they will think the same way about a problem but if the crew members are doctors, engineers or scientists, such a diverse combination will increase the possibility of evolving innovative solutions. Russia took the initiative to diversify the crew from pilots to engineers but NASA, with the Space Shuttle programme, got scientists and even scuba divers to join the crew.”

Woman engineer to be part of Gaganyaan crew soon

Emphasising that the ‘Gaganyaan’ mission will mark the beginning of India’s ambitions plans to build its own space station, Air Commodore Ravish Malhotra (Retd), who along with Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (Retd) was picked for the joint Indo-Soviet space expedition in 1984, says sooner than later women engineers of ISRO will make it to space on board an Indian rocket.

Air Commodore Ravish Malhotra (Retd) told That Asian Age that with the crew capsule designed to seat three members, a woman engineer of the Indian space agency would make the cut soon. “With so many women engineers working in ISRO, I am sure that an engineer will take the third seat (in the crew module),” he said.

Tags: isro, gaganyaan
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