ISRO set to test crew module of ambitious Gaganyaan mission

Test to primarily focus on functioning of abort systems of the crew module

Gaganyaan mission crew module

Preparations are underway to test the crew module of India’s ambitious manned space mission Gaganyaan, ISRO said on Friday. The crew module is where astronauts are contained in a pressurized earthlike atmospheric condition.

According to reports, the space organisation has readied the test version of the crew module (CM) mainly to test its abort systems. An unpressurised version of the module has been readied for tests, ISRO said in a statement. “This unpressurised CM version has to have an overall size and mass of actual Gaganyaan CM. It houses all the systems for the deceleration and recovery. With its complete set of parachutes, recovery aids actuation systems and pyros. The avionics systems in CM are in a dual redundant mode configuration for navigation, sequencing, telemetry, instrumentation and power,” it said.

ISRO said the test module is extensively instrumented to record 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”, it said. ISRO said the test module is readied to be shipped to launch complex.

"Preparations are going on. All vehicle systems have reached Sriharikota (for the launch). The final assembly is progressing. We are getting ready for launch by the end of October," Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) S. Unnikrishnan Nair told PTI.

“The test flight will simulate the abort condition during the ascent trajectory corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2 encountered in the Gaganyaan mission. Crew escape systems with CM will be separated from the Test Vehicle at an altitude of about 17km. Subsequently, the abort sequence will be executed autonomously commencing with the separation of escape systems and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of CM in the sea, about 10km from the coast of Sriharikota,” ISRO said in a statement.  

ISRO said the success of the test flight will set the stage for the remaining qualification tests and unmanned missions. 


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