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ISRO plans crucial test for Gaganyaan crewed mission by October

Currently planning a crucial test, ISRO has said it will explore ways to achieve a sustained human presence in space once Gaganyaan is completed.

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Sep 15, 2023, 04:07 PM IST

Test vehicle for characterisation of Crew Escape System
Test vehicle for characterisation of Crew Escape System

Story Highlights

  • ISRO is reportedly planning a crucial test for its first crewed mission called Gaganyaan.
  • It will conduct various demonstrator missions to test the level of preparedness.
  • Gaganyaan mission is expected to be launched before 2024.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to conduct a key test in its ambitious crewed space mission Gaganyaan as early as next month, the project director of the mission R. Hutton told Reuters. The Indian space agency is currently training four astronauts and looking to expand the cohort as it aims for more future manned missions, Hutton said. The Gaganyaan mission is aimed at developing a human-habitable space capsule that will carry a three-member crew into an orbit of 400 km (250 miles) for three days, before returning to safety in a planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean.

ISRO has said it will explore ways to achieve a sustained human presence in space once Gaganyaan is completed. The team is aiming to test its crew escape system, which can be used to eject astronauts in emergencies, before undertaking a battery of other tests before the final launch phase, Hutton said, adding: “Safety is the most important thing we need to ensure”. About 90.23 billion Indian rupees ($1.1 billion) has been allocated for the mission, which comes after the space agency’s historical landing of its Chandrayaan-3 craft on the lunar south pole.

While an exact timeline has not been shared, the mission is expected to be launched from the country’s main spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh before 2024. The space agency has previously said its Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre had successfully tested systems for stabilising the crew module and safely reducing its velocity during re-entry.

“The project is accomplished through an optimal strategy by considering inhouse expertise, the experience of Indian industry, intellectual capabilities of Indian academia & research institutions along with cutting edge technologies available with international agencies,” ISRO has mentioned on its website. The Indian agency said it has planned several precursor missions to demonstrate the Technology Preparedness Levels before the actual Human Space Flight Mission (HSFM) takes off. These demonstrations include Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT) and Test Vehicle (TV) flights.

— Written with inputs from Reuters

Author Name | Shubham Verma


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