Michelle Ham, a trainer for astronauts at NASA, has expressed her willingness to extend her support to the ISRO’s human space flight programme slated for 2015-16.
“I would be delighted and honoured,” Michelle told PTI when asked if she was ready to take up the assignment if offered by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
“I would love to be part of the Indian space programme when you guys start sending people to space….,” Michelle, who trains space station and space shuttle astronauts, said.
Besides the US space agency NASA, Michelle has trained astronauts of European, Japanese and Russian space agencies in past seven years.
Michelle, whose husband is a NASA astronaut, said she was ready to be of help in astronaut training in India but only for a “short time because there is so much of the world I would like to see”.
According to ISRO officials, the space agency has already drawn an outline for astronaut training centre which would come up near Bangalore international airport at Devanahalli on the outskirts of the city.
Officials expect investment of about Rs 600 crore to Rs 700 crore for the training centre.
ISRO has already carried out a detailed study on the feasibility of undertaking the indigenous mission, with an aim to build and demonstrate the capability for carrying humans to low earth orbit and their return to earth.
The programme envisages development of a fully autonomous orbital vehicle carrying two or three crew members to about 300 km-low earth orbit and their safe return.