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Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO To Flight Test Human Space Mission’s Crew Module Escape System On Oct 21


New Delhi: Indian space agency will fly the first of the four Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) to demonstrate the crew escape system on October 21 as part of its human space mission/Gaganyaan, said a top official.

Speaking to reporters Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S.Somanath said the first unmanned test mission TV-D1 will happen on Oct 21. Somanath said there will be three more test flights TV-D2, TV-D3 and TV-D4 to test the systems.

“Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), which demonstrates the performance of the Crew Escape System, are underway,” ISRO had said recently. The first development flight Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is in the final stages of preparation. The Test Vehicle is a single-stage liquid rocket developed for this abort mission.

“The payloads consist of the Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape Systems (CES) with their fast-acting solid motors, along with CM fairing (CMF) and Interface Adapters,” ISRO said.

This flight will simulate the abort condition during the ascent trajectory corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2 encountered in the Gaganyaan mission. ISRO said the Crew Escape System with Crew Module will be separated from the Test Vehicle at an altitude of about 17 km.

“Subsequently, the abort sequence will be executed autonomously commencing with the separation of CES (Crew Escape System) and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of CM (Crew Module) in the sea, about 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota,” ISRO said.

The Crew Module will house the astronauts in a pressurised earthlike atmospheric condition during the Gaganyaan mission. The Crew Module for the Gaganyaan mission is in different stages of development. For the Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), the Crew Module is an unpressurised version that has completed its integration and testing and is ready to be shipped to the launch complex.

This unpressurised Crew Module version has to have an overall size and mass of actual Gaganyaan Crew Module and would house all the systems for the deceleration and recovery. With its complete set of parachutes, recovery aids, actuation systems and pyros.

The avionics systems in Crew Module are in a dual redundant mode configuration for navigation, sequencing, telemetry, instrumentation and power.

According to ISRO, the Crew Module in this mission is extensively instrumented to capture the flight data for evaluation of the performance of various systems. The Crew Module will be recovered after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal, using a dedicated vessel and diving team from the Indian Navy.

The Indian space agency said the Crew Module after integration underwent various electrical testing, at ISRO’s facility in Bengaluru, including an acoustic test and was dispatched to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 13th August.

At Sriharikota, it will undergo vibration tests and pre-integration with the Crew Escape System, before final integration to the Test Vehicle at the Launch Pad. This Test Vehicle mission with this Crew Module is a significant milestone for the overall Gaganyaan programme as a near-complete system is integrated for a flight test. The success of this test flight will set the stage for the remaining qualification tests and unmanned missions, leading to the first Gaganyaan mission with Indian Astronauts, ISRO said.


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