PM Modi presents wings to 4 Indian astronauts for Gaganyaan

Gaganyaan astronauts

Rama Krishna Sangem

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and inaugurated three important space infrastructure projects worth around Rs 1800 crores, on February 27, Tuesday..

The projects include the SLV Integration Facility (PIF) at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota; the new ‘Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and Stage Test facility’ at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri; and ‘Trisonic Wind Tunnel’ at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram.

Modi also reviewed the progress of the Gaganyaan Mission and bestowed ‘astronaut wings’ to the four astronaut-designates. The astronaut-designates are Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister started by calling for a standing ovation for the astronaut-designates as the hall reverberated with the chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai.

Underlining that every nation’s development journey has its special moments that define not just the present but the future generations, the Prime Minister said that today is such an occasion for India when the present generation can take pride in the historic achievements of the nation in land, air, water and space. Recalling his statement about the beginning of a new ‘kaal chakra’ made from Ayodhya, Prime Minister Modi said that India is continuously expanding its space in the global order and its glimpses can be seen in the country’s space program.


Shiv Shakti Point, Indian prowess

The Prime Minister recalled India’s Chandrayaan success as India became the first nation to land on the South Pole of the Moon. “Today Shiv-Shakti Point is introducing the entire world to Indian prowess”, he said. He called the introduction of the four Gaganyaan passengers, astronaut-designates, as a historic occasion. “They are not just four names or individuals, they are four ‘Shakti’ of carrying the aspirations of 140 crore Indians into space”, the Prime Minister said.

Referring to the astronaut-designates, the Prime Minister said that their names have been conjoined with India’s success and they symbolize the trust, courage, valor and discipline of today’s India. He lauded their dedication and spirit towards training and said that they are the representatives of India’s Amrit generation that never gives up and shows the strength to challenge all adversities. Highlighting the need for a healthy body and a healthy mind for this mission, the Prime Minister noted the role of Yoga as part of the training module. “

The Prime Minister also conveyed some concerns about the celebrity attention to the four astronaut-designates which can create disturbance in their training. He appealed for cooperation with the astronaut-designates and their families so that they continue their training without distraction.

The Prime Minister was briefed about Gaganyaan. He expressed happiness that most of the equipment in Gaganyaan is Made in India. He noted the happy coincidence of Gaganyaan’s preparation with India’s upcoming entry into the top 3 economies of the world. He said that projects that were dedicated today will lead to new jobs and will raise India’s profile.

Praising the role of Nari Shakti in India’s space programme, the Prime Minister said “Whether it is Chandrayaan or the Gaganyaan, no such project can be imagined without women scientists”. He informed that more than 500 women are in leadership positions in ISRO.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at