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Gaganyaan mission: ISRO prepares for unmanned flight tests of mission’s ‘crew escape system’

During the Gaganyaan mission, the astronauts will be seated in the Crew Module and it will separate at an altitude of 17 km

On 7th October (Saturday), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the space agency will soon commence the unmanned flight tests for the Gaganyaan mission. As per the information received, the abort test of India’s first human spaceflight project will likely take place later this month.

The Flight Test Vehicle abort mission will help demonstrate the performance of the crew escape system and preparations for that are underway, ISRO revealed. 

Taking to X, the space agency shared, “Mission Gaganyaan: ISRO to commence unmanned flight tests for the Gaganyaan mission. Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), which demonstrates the performance of the Crew Escape System, are underway.” 

In a release related to the First Crew Module of the Gaganyaan test flight, ISRO added that the first development flight Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is in the final stages of preparation. The abort mission utilises the Test Vehicle TV-D1, which is a single-stage liquid rocket designed specifically for this purpose. The payload includes both the Crew Module and Crew Escape Systems.

This flight test is deemed critical for the Gaganyaan mission, as they are the key safety feature of the project. According to ISRO, the outcome of this test flight will pave the way for subsequent qualification tests and unmanned missions, leading to the first Gaganyaan mission featuring Indian astronauts.

The unmanned test launch is scheduled to take place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. During the Gaganyaan mission, the astronauts will be seated in the Crew Module and it will separate at an altitude of 17 km. Following this, an autonomous abort sequence will be initiated, leading to the deployment of parachutes and the eventual splashdown of the module in the sea.

ISRO added that the Crew Module will be recovered after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal using a dedicated vessel and diving team from the Indian Navy. 

In the official release, ISRO stated, “This Test Vehicle mission with this Crew Module is a significant milestone for the overall Gaganyaan program as a near-complete system is integrated for a flight test. The success of this test flight will set the stage for the remaining qualification tests and unmanned missions, leading to the first Gaganyaan mission with Indian Astronauts.” 

According to ISRO scientists, the unpressurised version of the Crew Module, which has successfully undergone integration and testing, is now prepared for transport to the launch complex. 

Earlier in July, the first batch of crew module recovery for Mission Gaganyaan successfully completed Phase-1 training at the Indian Navy’s Water Survival Training Facility (WSTF) in Kochi. The team underwent rigorous training for two weeks. Reportedly, this team will participate in the recovery of the unpressurised crew module that will be used in the first abort test mission, which ISRO had planned in August.  

Subsequent to this initial abort mission, there will be a second test vehicle mission (TV-D2) and the maiden uncrewed Gaganyaan mission (LVM3-G1).

As part of the ambitious Gaganyaan project, ISRO will send a crew comprising two to three members into a circular orbit approximately 400 km above Earth. The mission will last one to three days and it has the primary goal of ensuring their safe return to Earth.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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