Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mission Gaganyaan: 5 Seconds Before Liftoff, ISRO Puts 1st TV-D1 Flight Test on ‘Hold’

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has postponed the initial launch of the Gaganyaan Mission’s first uncrewed test flight (TV-D1 Flight Test) which was scheduled for Saturday. “The launch of Gaganyaan’s First Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) has been temporarily halted. We will provide an update on the next launch schedule shortly,” stated ISRO chief S Somnath.

“The planned liftoff did not occur today due to the engine not igniting as expected. We are investigating the issue to identify the cause. The vehicle is secure, and we are working to address the situation. We will resume the mission promptly. The launch was held back by the functioning computer system. We will rectify the problem and plan a new launch date soon,” explained the ISRO chief during a brief media interaction.

This Flight Test Vehicle Abort mission is a vital step to demonstrate the Crew Escape system’s performance in the Gaganyaan mission. Furthermore, it will assess the safe landing process in the Bay of Bengal following the rocket’s launch.

The main objectives of the TV-D1 launch mission include the demonstration and evaluation of Test Vehicle subsystems, evaluation of the Crew Escape System, assessment of various separation systems, showcasing crew Module characteristics and deceleration systems at higher altitudes, and demonstrating their recovery.

This mission signifies a crucial milestone in India’s endeavor to exhibit its capability to send humans into space. The test flight project aims to validate India’s ability to place humans into a 400-kilometer orbit and bring them back to earth safely, with a splashdown in the Bay of Bengal Sea.

To ensure the mission’s success, approximately 20 significant tests, including three uncrewed missions of the Human-Rated Launch Vehicle (HLVM3), are scheduled.

The Gaganyaan project’s vision is to demonstrate the capability of human spaceflight by launching a crew of three members into a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission and safely bringing them back to earth by landing in Indian waters.

The Gaganyaan program will propel India into the league of the fourth nation to execute a manned spaceflight mission, following the United States, Russia, and China. Building upon the achievements of the Indian space initiatives, such as the recent Chandrayan-3 and Aditya L1 missions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set ambitious goals for India, including establishing the ‘Bharatiya Antariksha Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035 and sending the first Indian to the Moon by 2040.

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