Astronaut-designate Prashant Nair brings cheer to his native Nenmara

February 28, 2024 03:48 am | Updated 07:23 am IST - PALAKKAD

PM Narendra Modi hands-over wings to astronauts-designate Shubanshu Shukla, Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Prathap and Ajit Krishnan at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Feb. 27, 2024.

PM Narendra Modi hands-over wings to astronauts-designate Shubanshu Shukla, Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Prathap and Ajit Krishnan at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Feb. 27, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The announcement of four astronaut-designates who would fly to low-earth orbit as part of the first crewed Indian space mission named Gaganyaan has brought cheer to Nenmara, a village in Palakkad district known for its annual temple festival and fireworks.

Group Captain Prashant B. Nair, one of the four astronauts chosen for the Gaganyaan Mission, has brought cheer to his native Nenmara like never before. The local people of Nenmara said that Mr. Nair has taken their village to its pinnacle of fame.

An Indian Air Force officer with several years of flying experience, Mr. Nair’s neighbourhood wore a festive ambience with the local people congratulating each other on his selection to the Indian Space Research Organisation’s space mission.

The second son of Vilambil Balakrishnan Nair and Poolangattu Prameela, Mr. Nair had his bachelor’s degree in engineering from NSS College of Engineering, Palakkad. He had his primary education in Kuwait, where his father had worked then. He studied at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Pallavur, until his higher secondary education. He joined the IAF through the National Defence Academy.

His relatives said that he had been under rigorous training abroad during the last several weeks as part of the preparation for the space mission.

Many people, including the local MLA, K. Babu, reached Mr. Nair’s house on Tuesday soon after the names of the Gaganyaan astronauts were announced. However, they could not meet his parents as they were away in Thiruvananthapuram. But they gathered outside Mr. Nair’s house and expressed their happiness at his achievement.

Apart from Mr. Babu, local ward member, temple festival organisers, resident association officials, and local primary school teachers were among those who reached Mr. Nair’s house.

Mr. Babu said they would organise a grand reception to Mr. Nair when he comes home.

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