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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has chosen two of its Gaganyaan-trained astronauts for a groundbreaking mission to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year, according to informed sources. This collaborative effort with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is targeted for “no earlier than October 2024,” as per NASA’s website.

Prior to the mission, the astronauts will travel to the United States for specialized ISS training. “While they have undergone general spaceflight training,” an official explained, “much of their Indian training focused on Gaganyaan modules. Familiarization with ISS modules and protocols is essential.”

The Axiom-4 mission, spearheaded by NASA and private US company Axiom Space, will ferry the Indian astronauts to the ISS. This fourth private astronaut mission is expected to dock with the station for a fourteen-day period.

During the initial announcement of the Axiom-4 mission last year, NASA stated, “The Ax-4 crew members will train with NASA, international partners, and SpaceX for their flight. Axiom Space has contracted SpaceX as launch provider for transportation to and from the space station, and to familiarize the private astronauts with systems, procedures, and emergency preparedness for the Dragon spacecraft.”