ISRO says, First test flight of the Gaganyaan mission in February of next year

science Technology

A top official announced here on Thursday that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will begin a series of test flights for India’s first human space flight mission in February of next year.

According to R Umamaheshwaran, Director of ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre, the space agency also plans to deploy the heavy-lift Chinook helicopter and the C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft for testing the crew module, which will carry astronauts into orbit for three days as part of the Gaganyaan human space flight mission.

Speaking here at the India Space Congress, he announced that ISRO scientists have finished designing the Environment Control System, which will provide comfortable living conditions for astronauts in the crew service module while they are orbiting the globe.

Prior to an unmanned space launch in December of the following year, ISRO plans to conduct at least 17 different tests. In his Independence Day speech in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Gaganyaan Mission, with the goal of completing it by 2022, when the nation would have completed 75 years of independence from colonial domination.

The Covid epidemic, however, caused a number of delays, and it is now anticipated that the first Indian astronauts will make their first space mission by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

According to Umamaheshwaran, it was difficult to build the crew module and environment control system since the astronauts needed to be comfortable throughout the re-entry phase, when the outside temperature may exceed 2000 degrees Celsius.

The atmosphere control system, according to Umamaheshwaran, is a crucial component of the project since it creates comfortable living conditions for the crew module.

He said, “We have to provide oxygen, remove carbon dioxide, remove humidity, maintain temperature and also ensure there is no fire hazard. This is a very complex technology which no country would give us.” 

It was chosen to construct the environment control system domestically, according to the senior scientist.

“We have the capability to design, so we are doing that and that only is taking a little bit of time. We have completed all the design and now is the time to prove that whatever has been designed is safe enough. That is the entire effort,” Umamaheshwaran said.

According to him, four applicants have already finished their first training in Russia and have been shortlisted to participate in the mission.

According to him, the astronauts who made the shortlist are currently receiving additional training at the Astronaut Training Facility in Bengaluru.