Bengaluru: ISRO working on its new space programme is not new. The space programme aims to send human beings to space and will be called Gaganyaan. However, before India actually sends humans to venture out into space, the Indian Space Research Agency will send out a half-humanoid robot by the end of this year.

Vyom Mitra' - the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) half-humanoid to go as a trial to space before 'Gaganyaan' goes with astronauts. The half-humanoid robot, named 'Vyom Mitra' or a friend in the sky, is capable of conversing with astronauts, recognising them, and responding to their queries.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh tweeted a 31-second video and wrote, "In the run-up to the first Human Space Mission by India at @isro ... ‘Vyom Mitra’, the humanoid for #Gaganyaan unveiled. This prototype of humanoid will go as a trial before Gaganyaan goes with Astronauts. #ISRO" The Gaganyaan mission is aimed at sending astronauts to space in an orbital spacecraft.

ISRO's half-humanoid ‘Vyom Mitra’ will be placed in the first unmanned mission under 'Gaganyaan' and will simulate most of the human body functions.

According to an ANI report, Sam Dayal, ISRO scientist said, "Legs are not there. It will try to simulate a human and report back to us. We are doing this as an experiment."

‘Vyom Mitra’ introduced herself as a prototype of the half-humanoid being made for the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission to the visitors here at an event.

"Hello everyone. I am Vyom Mitra. The prototype of the half-humanoid being made for the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission. I can monitor few module parameters, alert you, and perform life support operations," the robot would say.

ISRO chief K Sivan on Wednesday said that four astronauts have been short-listed for the Gaganyaan mission who will go to Russia for training by the end of this month.

"Four astronauts have been short-listed and they will go to Russia for training by this month-end. In 1984, Rakesh Sharma flew in a Russian module, but this time the Indian astronauts will fly in an Indian module from India," he told reporters.

The four astronauts will receive training for 11 months. All the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity cannot be revealed, Union Minister of State (MoS) Jitendra Singh had said earlier.

After 11 months of training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India. They will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations. As per the ISRO sources, India's heaviest launch vehicle "Bahubali" GSLV Mark-III will carry astronauts to space.

The Narendra Modi government has sanctioned Rs 10,000 crore for the Gaganyaan project. The launch will coincide with the 75th year of India's independence in 2022.