Monday, May 27

Group Captain Prashanth Nair Whom Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Called ‘Pride For Kerala’

Edited by Shibu NK

Group Captain Prashanth Nair, a Sukhoi fighter pilot hailing from Palakkad, Kerala, emerges as a distinguished figure in India’s aerospace realm with the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the names of the four astronauts selected for India’s prestigious Gaganyaan Mission. Hailing from Palakkad, born to Valampil Balakrishnan and Koolanghaat Pramila, his journey from granary of Kerala to the skies above exemplifies courage, dedication, and excellence.

Prashanth’s early years saw him pursuing engineering studies at NSS Engineering College, Palakkad, where his passion for serving the nation led him to join the prestigious National Defense Academy (NDA). Commissioned into the Indian Air Force in June 1999, he embarked on a journey marked by relentless pursuit of excellence.

His stellar academic achievements, including first-class honors from the US Air Command and Staff College and the prestigious ‘Sword of Honour’ from the Hyderabad Air Force Academy in 1998, underscore his commitment to excellence and leadership.

Prashanth’s illustrious career reached new heights when he led a team of pilots selected for the historic Gaganyaan mission, India’s maiden human space flight endeavor. During their rigorous 18-month training in Russia, he demonstrated exceptional leadership and skill, earning the respect of his peers and mentors alike.

Further honing their capabilities, Prashanth and his team underwent intensive preparation at the Human Space Center in Bengaluru, meticulously preparing themselves for the challenges of space exploration.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan aptly described Prashanth as a “Pride For Kerala,” acknowledging his remarkable achievements and the honour he brings to the state. As Prashanth Nair and his fellow astronauts stand on the cusp of making history, they carry with them the aspirations of a nation and the pride of Kerala.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the significance of this moment, highlighting the pivotal role these four astronauts will play in realizing the aspirations of 140 crore Indians. He bestowed upon them the prestigious astronaut wings, symbolizing their dedication and valor.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the VSSC also marked the inauguration of three crucial space infrastructure projects, underscoring India’s commitment to advancing its capabilities in space exploration. With investments totaling around Rs 1800 crores, these projects signify a significant step forward for ISRO’s endeavors.

Referring to the astronaut designates, Prime Minister Modi commended their dedication and spirit towards training, emphasizing their embodiment of India’s trust, courage, and discipline. He highlighted the importance of physical and mental well-being for the mission, noting the role of Yoga in the training module.

The Gaganyaan mission is India’s ambitious endeavor to send humans into space. It marks India’s maiden human spaceflight program, aimed at demonstrating the country’s technological capabilities in crewed space missions. The primary objective of the Gaganyaan mission is to send Indian astronauts, also known as “Gagannauts,” into space aboard an Indian spacecraft.