Gaganyaan Mission: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved a significant milestone by successfully launching its Test Vehicle for Gaganyaan, marking India’s entry into human space exploration. The event took place at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Test Vehicle-D1 (TV-D1) Lift-off Delayed, but Successful
The inaugural rocket, a crucial component of India’s Gaganyaan mission, named Test Vehicle-D1 (TV-D1), soared into the sky at 10 a.m. after experiencing delays. The lift-off was initially scheduled for 8 a.m., but due to adverse weather conditions and poor visibility, it was rescheduled for 8:45 a.m. After resolving technical issues, the launch finally occurred at 10 a.m.
Demonstrating Crew Escape System
The mission, known as Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), focused on demonstrating the crew escape system. This system is vital to ensure the safety of astronauts in the event of a malfunction with the rocket carrying the crew module.
In the case of an emergency, the crew module, with astronauts on board, would separate from the rocket and descend safely into the sea using parachutes, much like a fighter pilot ejecting from an aircraft.
Gearing Up for Gaganyaan 2025
India’s first human space mission, Gaganyaan, is expected to take place in 2025. Testing the crew escape system is a crucial step in this ambitious project. ISRO plans to conduct four test flights to evaluate various components of the system.
Key Details of the Test Vehicle
The Gaganyaan Mission Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is approximately 35 meters in height and weighs about 44 tonnes. It is equipped with a modified Vikas engine powered by liquid fuel. The crew module and escape system are located at the front of the rocket.
The entire sequence from lift-off to crew module touchdown in the sea with parachute deployment takes around 531 seconds, or approximately nine minutes. The crew module, weighing 4,520 kg, is designed to maintain an earth-like atmospheric condition for the astronauts during the actual human space mission.
Milestone Achievement for Gaganyaan Program
This Test Vehicle mission represents a significant milestone for the Gaganyaan program as it integrates a nearly complete system for a flight test. The success of this test flight paves the way for further qualification tests and unmanned missions, bringing India closer to its first Gaganyaan mission with Indian astronauts.