The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will carry out the first of several test flights ahead of the Gaganyaan mission on October 21, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.
The test vehicle development flight (TV-D1) will be conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh to test the crew module that is scheduled to house Indian astronauts during the human spaceflight late next year.
The test involves launching the module to outer space, bringing it back to earth and recovering it after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal. The Navy has already started mock operations to recover the module, Singh said at a felicitation programme of the ISRO engineers involved in the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L-1 missions.
Along with the crew module, the TV-D1 will also test the “crew escape” system that is expected to bring back the crew to earth if the spacecraft faces a problem while ascending into space.
The success of the test will set the stage for the first unmanned “Gaganyaan” mission and ultimately, manned mission to outer space in a low-earth orbit, the minister said.
Before the ultimate manned “Gaganyaan” mission, there will be a test flight next year, which will carry “Vyommitra”, a female robot astronaut, he added.
The Gaganyaan project envisages a demonstration of the human spaceflight capability by launching a human crew to an orbit of 400 km and bringing them safely back to earth by landing in Indian sea waters
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