ISRO’s unmanned test flight for its first human spaceflight mission, ‘Gaganyaan’ set off from Sriharikota today, marking the first milestone in India’s ambitious space program. This flight abort test was carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the vehicle’s crew escape mechanism, which would be employed if astronauts needed to evacuate in the event of an emergency.
“We are very happy to announce the success of the mission. The purpose of the mission was to demonstrate the crew escape system. The vehicle went slightly above the speed of sound before it initiated the crew escape system,” S Somanath of the Indian Space Research Organization announced from the mission control center.
“The escape system took the crew module away from the vehicle, and subsequent operations, including the touch-down at the sea have been very well accomplished,” he said.
According to Mr. Somanath, the agency is now seeking to recover the crew modules from the sea.
The Test Vehicle D1 Mission was Slated to Launch from the First Launch Pad at 8 a.m
The Test Vehicle D1 mission was slated to launch from the first launch pad at 8 a.m.; however, the time was changed to 8.45 a.m. However, the countdown paused 5 seconds before the launch. ISRO discovered the problem and successfully completed the test at 10 a.m.
The test vehicle mission is the forerunner to the Gaganyaan program, which seeks to take humans into space for three days in a 400-kilometer low-earth orbit and safely return them to Earth.
India will demonstrate its human spaceflight capabilities with the Gaganyaan mission, which is set to launch in 2024. The government plans to build a space station by 2035, as well as a Venus orbiter and a Mars lander.