The first test for the Gaganyaan human space flight mission was successfully completed after ISRO fixed an anomaly that had delayed the lift off just seconds before the scheduled launch.
Test Vehicle D1 mission was scheduled for a lift-off from the first launch pad at 8 am which was revised to 8.45 am. But just 5 seconds before the launch, the countdown stopped. ISRO immediately identified the cause and moved the launch to 10am, which is when the test was successfully conducted.
Talking about the anomaly, ISRO chief S Somanath said, “We wanted the mission to launch to lanch at 8 am, but had to move it up to 8.45 am. There was a monitoring anomaly in the system. We could identify and rectify it very fast.”
The test vehicle mission is the predecessor to the Gaganyaan programme which aims to send humans into space on a Low Earth Orbit of 400kms for three days and bring them safely back to the Earth.
The first test will look at the efficacy of the crew escape system, which can be used to eject astronauts in emergencies.
It will be followed by another test flight carrying a robot to outer space before the final manned mission takes place.
“Before the ultimate manned ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, there will be a test flight next year, which will carry Vyommitra, the female robot astronaut,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
The mission is aimed at developing a human-habitable space capsule that will carry a three-member crew into an orbit of 400 km for three days, before splashing down in the Indian Ocean.
This programme will make India the fourth nation to launch a manned spaceflight mission after the US, Russia, and China.
Building on the success of the Indian space initiatives, including the recent Chandrayan-3 and Aditya L1 missions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed that India should now aim for new and ambitious goals, including setting up ‘Bharatiya Antariksha Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035 and sending the first Indian to the Moon by 2040.