Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested the crew escape system with a single-stage Test Vehicle (TV-D1) of the country's first human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan.
Test Flight TV-D
- The liquid-propelled single-stage Test Vehicle (TV-D1) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, carrying a homegrown system that would be crucial for the safety of the Indian astronauts - the Crew Escape System.
- The test validated the motors that will be used during this mission. This included low-altitude, high-altitude, and jettisoning motors that will be used to eject astronauts away from the vehicle in an emergency safely. ISRO Chairman S Somnath declared the mission successful and the objectives achieved.
- The launch was initially halted due to a corrected anomaly, and the spacecraft lifted off at 10 AM. After nine minutes, the mission crew module successfully splashed in the Bay of Bengal, ten kilometres from Sriharikota. The Indian Navy was stationed at the destined place for the recovery of the module. The module was retrieved by Naval divers and was taken to a Naval ship.
- This mission was conducted to test the efficiency of the vehicle's crew escape system, which will be used if astronauts need to eject in an emergency.
India will demonstrate its human spaceflight capabilities in a mission called Gaganyaan, scheduled to launch in 2024. The country will set up a space station by 2035 and work on a Venus orbiter and a Mars lander.
About Gaganyaan Mission
- The Gaganyaan project aims to showcase India's capability for human spaceflight by launching a crew of three members into an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth by landing in the Indian sea waters.
- The project is completed through an optimal strategy that considers the in-house expertise, experience of the Indian industry, intellectual capabilities of Indian academia and research institutions, and cutting-edge technologies available with international agencies.
- Several essential technologies must be developed before the Gaganyaan mission can occur.
- These include a human-rated launch vehicle, which will safely transport the crew into space, a Life Support System, which will provide the crew with an Earth-like environment in space, and crew emergency escape provisions. Crew management aspects that need to be considered include training, recovery, and rehabilitation of the crew.
- Several precursor missions are planned before executing the Human Space Flight mission to ensure safety and reliability.
- These demonstrator missions include the Integrated AirDrop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT), and Test Vehicle (TV) flights. All systems will be proven in uncrewed missions preceding human-crewed missions.
About Crew Escape System
- On July 5, 2018, ISRO conducted a crucial technology demonstration to test a Crew Escape System.
- This system is essential for ensuring the safety of astronauts during a space flight.
- In case of a launch abort, the Crew Escape System is designed to immediately detach the crew module from the launch vehicle and move it and the astronauts to a safe distance.
- The first test, known as the Pad Abort Test, showcased the secure recovery of the crew module in case of any emergency at the launch pad.
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