ISRO's Next Mission Gaganyaan's First Trial in October

Gaganyaan, India's first human space-flight mission ("Gagan" means sky in Hindi, "yaan" is craft), will have its first trial flight by the first or second week of October following the launch of first Solar Mission “Aditya-L1” on 2nd of September.

With Gaganyaan, ISRO plans to launch a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission before landing in Indian waters. The mission was planned for 2021, however it was delayed due to the lockdown imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in a media interaction, S Somnath, chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had told reporters that the mission would be conducted by September-end or October, for demonstration purposes.

"For Ganganyaan, ISRO will do a mission possibly by the end of September or October to demonstrate the crew module and crew escape capability. It will be followed by several test missions until the first manned mission is conducted, possibly by 2025," said the ISRO Chair. 

In the second trial, possibly beginning of next year, a female robot named “Vyommitra” will be onboard the Gaganyaan before the first human mission which may include up to three astronauts.

Four astronauts who have been selected for India’s first Human Space Flight Programme or the Gaganyaan. These selected-4 are test pilots in Indian Air Force, and till March this year, the astronauts have completed 39 weeks of training activities.

Gaganyaan - Astronaut Traikning Facility
Gaganyaan's Astronaut Training Facility
Early of last month, ISRO successfully conducted a series of Drogue Parachute Deployment Tests at the Rail Track Rocket Sled (RTRS) facility of the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh.

Drogue Parachute Deployment Tests
Drogue Parachute Deployment Tests 

Drogue Parachute Deployment Tests
Drogue Parachute Deployment Tests 

The drogue parachutes are mortar-deployed conical ribbon-type parachutes with a diameter of 19 feet. The parachutes is a crucial part of getting the Gaganyaan crew (humans) module safely back to the ground, serving to stabilize the spacecraft and reduce its velocity during re-entry to Earth's atmosphere.


Gaganyaan crew module's deceleration system encompasses a total of 10 such parachutes.

In November last year, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, where many Gaganyaan activities were conducted, did a major development test "Integrated Main Parachute Airdrop Test, or IMAT" of its crew module deceleration system at the Babina Field Fire Range (BFFR) in the Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh.

Early of last month, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, informed that all subsystems pertaining to Test Vehicle TV-D1 mission have been realized and the Crew module integration is completed, and the test of Gaganyaan, the maiden human space flight mission of India is planned in August/September 2023.

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