Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath on Saturday announced the success of the ‘TV-D1’ (Test Vehicle Development Flight 1) in the Gaganyaan Mission. The test vehicle was launched on the second attempt after it had faced an engine ignition problem at 8:45am IST. ISRO briefly aborted the launch of the first uncrewed test flight (TV-D1 Flight Test). Later, it said that the errors have been identified and corrected and the second launch was scheduled for 10:00am IST today.
Addressing the media, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, “I am very happy to announce the successful accomplishment of the TV-D1 mission. The purpose of this mission was to demonstrate the crew escape system for the Gaganyaan program through a test vehicle demonstration in which the vehicle went up to a Mach number, which is slightly above the speed of sound, and initiated an abort condition for the crew escape system to function.”
“The crew escape system took the crew module away from the vehicle, and subsequent operations, including the touch-down at sea, have been very well accomplished. and we have confirmation of the data for all of this,” he added.
ISRO chief S Somanath congratulated scientists after the successful touchdown of the crew escape module.
On the occasion, Mission Director S Sivakumar said, “This is like a never before attempt. It is like a bouquet of three experiments put together. We have now seen the characteristics of all three systems with what we wanted to test through this experiment or this mission. The test vehicle, the crew escape system, the crew module everything, we have perfectly demonstrated in the first attempt. All the systems performed well.”
“We had been at penance for the last 3 to 4 years and the D-day was today. We are very happy to be able to do it on the very first attempt,” he added.
This Flight test vehicle Abort mission was conducted to demonstrate the performance of the Crew escape system as part of the Gaganyaan mission.
The mission objectives of the TV-D1 launch were Flight demonstration and evaluation of Test Vehicle subsystems; flight demonstration and evaluation of Crew Escape System including various separation systems; crew module characteristics; and deceleration system demonstration at higher altitudes and its recovery.
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. This flight simulated the abort condition during the ascent trajectory corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2 encountered in the Gaganyaan mission.
This mission represents a significant milestone in India’s effort to demonstrate that it is possible to send humans into space.
The Gaganyaan project envisages a demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members into an orbit of 400km for a 3-day mission and bringing them safely back to earth by landing in Indian waters.
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.