ISRO overcame a technical glitch to successfully launch the first test flight for its Gaganyaan mission, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota today.
The launch of the Test Vehicle - Demonstration (TV-D1), which was scheduled at 8am but was deferred to 8.45am due to unfavourable weather conditions, was earlier put on hold after the engine ignition did not happen due to an anomaly, according to ISRO chairman S. Somanath.
The reason for the hold was identified and corrected, and the launch schedule was revised to 10am.
"I am very happy to announce the successful accomplishment of the TV-D1 mission,” Somanath said. “The purpose of this mission was to demonstrate the crew escape system for the Gaganyaan programme 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 the sea have been very well accomplished."
The single-stage liquid propulsion rocket, equipped with a Crew Module and Crew Escape System, took off as planned at 10am.
The separation of the Crew Module and Crew Escape System was welcomed with loud cheers at the Mission Control Center. The payloads later splashed into the sea as planned.
The Gaganyaan mission aims to send humans into space on a Low Earth Orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and bring them safely back to Earth in 2025.