So far, the indian space agency hasn’t sent astronauts into space. But it will change soon ! The first indian crewed space mission is scheduled in December 2021. You want to be an ISRO astronaut ? First make sure that you are eligible for the future missions of the indian space agency.
Nationality, gender and age requirements to become an ISRO astronaut
- You have to be an indian citizen to become an ISRO astronaut.
- You can be either a man or a woman.
- So far, ISRO didn’t communicate about the age rank required to become an astronaut.
Physical and medical requirements to become an ISRO astronaut
To become an indian astronaut you must be physically and medically ready to endure the hard conditions in space during long periods, it means months or even more than a year. Indeed, even if the very first manned spaceflight in 2021-2022 will last a few days, ISRO plans to develop ambitious projects like building a space station, sending men on the Moon and even on the planet Mars in the future.
- ISRO doesn’t communicate yet about the height range of its future astronauts.
- There are no indications either about the weight you must reach to become an ISRO astronaut, but consider that astronauts have to be in good shape according to their gender and their age.
- Also, ISRO doesn’t communicate yet about about medical requirements. Consider that ISRO will expect indian astronauts to have a perfect visual acuity (surgery might be permitted), a normal blood pressure and a satisfactory medical history.
Education to become an ISRO astronaut
- So far, as the very first crewed space mission of India is scheduled in December 2021, ISRO prefers to select Indian Air Force pilots. Indeed, each nations with a manned spaceflight program started with experienced pilots.
- Consider that in the future, ISRO will probably really open its astronaut program to common people with a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university, either in engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry or biology (STEM field). But a higher university degree (master degree or PhD) in aerospace engineering or aeronautical engineering will probably be of added value in the future indian astronaut selections.
Professional experience to become an ISRO astronaut
- As 2021 space mission will be the very first crewed mission of the indian space agency, ISRO Chairman said that even if 2019’s applications are technically opened to everyone, a preference will be give to experienced Indian Air Force pilots. For years, being an IAF pilot will be the best way to make sure you have the professional experience required because it proves you are mentally and physically able to be part of a space mission, which shortens a lot the training period.
- But in the future, like in other space agencies, ISRO will have enough space experience and will probably want to hire astronauts outside the IAF. A valuable working experience in science, engineering / aerospace engineering, medicine, biology or computer science will probably be required by the indian space agency. And a working experience for ISRO will probably be the best. To join ISRO, you need to clear the Joint Entrance Exam which is held by the IITs (Indian Institutes of Space Science and Technology).
Other skills and requirements
- Spoken languages : a perfect level in English is required as astronauts cooperate with foreign peoples, either on Earth or in space. Other languages like russian will probably be assets.
- Flying experience : for the first manned spaceflight of the indian space agency, astronauts must be experienced Air Force pilots. Perhaps it will be the same for the few next missions. In the future, flying experience probably won’t be required but it will still be an obvious asset.
- Psychological requirements : so far, ISRO only selects experienced Air Force pilots not only because of their flying experience, but also for their psychological strenghts. Consider that if you want to become an astronaut, you will have to fullfil the same expectations : ability to multi-task, ability to keep your calm under emergency situations, and great observational capabilities.
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Pictures by NASA / ISRO