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Mission Gaganyaan – ISRO’s human spaceflight gets off on a successful note; conducts test flight of crew escape system

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New Delhi. Bharatiya Space Agency has emerged victorious after testing the crucial crew escape system of its rocket Gaganyaan on Saturday. The demonstration of the TV-D1 mission was conducted successfully as the Space Agency is on its way to a manned space mission in 2025 and an unmanned mission next year.

The objective of the mission is to test the vehicle, crew escape and the crew module. Gaganyaan was successfully launched at 10 a.m. after three holds. The vehicle was launched from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota exactly at 10 a.m. After nine minutes, the mission crew module successfully splashed in the Bay of Bengal, ten kilometres away from Sriharikota. The module was retrieved by Naval divers and was taken to a Naval ship. It will be brought to Madras Harbour on Saturday.

Addressing after the launch, Chairman ISRO Somnath said that all the parameters and sequences performed normally as per the plan. The flight demonstrated that the crew could exit safely in case of any malfunction. The splash down on the sea also was tested for the safety of the astronauts undertaking the space journey. The abort condition was successful. The velocity and the speed-accuracy in which the landing was done was remarkable.

Somnath said that the launch was scheduled originally at eight a.m. and was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. due to weather-related issues. The launch sequence was put on hold by the computer and later it was found to be a monitoring anomaly. The Chairman said that they had refilled the gases and checked the health of the vehicle after which the launch process was restarted at 10 a.m. The comeback was made as fast as possible. The entire team was prepared for the Gaganyaan launch in future.

The Director of the mission Sivakumar said that on recovery of the module, details will be checked. The Mission Executive R. Hutton said that there were no words to explain the success of the launch. All three experiments were remarkable and ISRO was successful in its very first mission.

The Director of the crew escape mission said that today’s experience was a Milestone and motivation for all those working on the Gaganyaan mission. He was more than happy to test the safety of the crew for being successful and endorsed that it was a robust and reliable vehicle. The Indian Navy coordinated the recovery of the crew module. Director Unnikrishnan Nair said that the crew module and the ten parachutes attached to the ten motors were all working perfectly.

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