ISRO planning 2nd test flight of uncrewed Gaganyaan mission on Apr 24 : Somanath

Chennai, Apr 18 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be embarking on achieving yet another significant milestone as part of its Gaganyaan mission next week.

Having declared that 2024 will be the year of India’s prestigious first-ever human space flight mission Gaganyaan, the Space Agency has announced that it will carry out the second uncrewed mission, a test vehicle flight mission and an airdrop test next week.

“The airdrop test will happen on April 24″, ISRO Chairman said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Astronautical Society of India (ASI) at Ahmedabad on Wednesday, according to media reports.

This test flight mission will be followed by two more uncrewed missions that will take place next year.

“If everything goes well, then the manned mission will be held by the end of next year,” he said.

Buoyed by the success of the third Lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, when India became the first country to land on the hitherto unexplored South polar region of the Moon and the first Sun Mission Aditya-L1 that reached the Halo orbit of Lagrange Point (L1) to comprehensively study the outer atmosphere of the most hottest planet, ISRO is all set for the second test flight of Gaganyaan uncrewed mission.

ISRO said that the Halo-Orbit Insertion (HOI) of its solar observatory spacecraft, Aditya-L1 was accomplished on January 6, 2024.

The orbit of Aditya-L1 spacecraft is a periodic Halo orbit which is located roughly 1.5 million km rom earth on the continuously moving Sun-Earth line with an orbital period of about 177.86 earth days. This Halo orbit is a periodic, three-dimensional orbit at L1 involving Sun, Earth and a spacecraft. This specific halo orbit is selected to ensure a mission lifetime of 5 years, minimising station-keeping manoeuvres and thus fuel consumption and ensuring a continuous, unobstructed view of sun.

It may be noted that in October, 2023, ISRO successfully conducted In-flight Abort Demonstration of Crew Escape System (CES) at Mach number 1.2 with the newly developed Test Vehicle followed by Crew Module separation and safe recovery.

The objectives included Flight demonstration and evaluation of Test Vehicle sub systems, evaluation of Crew Escape System including various separation systems, Crew Module characteristics and deceleration systems demonstration at higher altitude and its recovery.

Following this success, ISRO said “TV D1 Test Flight is accomplished. Crew Escape System performed as intended. Mission Gaganyaan gets off on a successful note”.

ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) will spearhead the Gaganyaan programme through co-ordinated efforts and focus all the activities that are carried out in other ISRO centres, research labs in India, Indian academia and Industries towards accomplishing the mission.

HSFC, as the lead Centre for Human space flight activities conforms to high standards of reliability and human safety in undertaking R and D activities in new technology areas, such as life support systems, Human Factors Engineering, Bioastronautics, Crew training and Human rating and certification. These areas would constitute important components for future sustained human space flight activities like rendezvous and docking, space station building and interplanetary collaborative manned missions to Moon/Mars and near-earth asteroids.

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