The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced details about the Gaganyaan mission's Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) on X (formerly Twitter). The test is scheduled for 21st October at 8 a.m. and will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This mission is described as a "short-duration mission." Registration to witness the launch will begin at 6 p.m.

The primary objective of TV-D1 is to demonstrate the performance of the crew escape system, a critical component of the Gaganyaan project

What Is Going To Happen On 21st October:

The crew module for TV-D1 is an unpressurized version and contains all the necessary systems for deceleration and recovery, including parachutes, recovery aids actuation systems, and pyrotechnics. The crew module will be recovered from the Bay of Bengal, utilizing a dedicated vessel and a diving team from the Indian Navy.

The test vehicle is a single-stage liquid rocket developed specifically for abort missions. It carries payloads that include the crew module and crew escape systems with fast-acting solid motors, along with the CM fairing and interface adapters. This flight simulates an abort scenario during the ascent trajectory, corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2, similar to conditions encountered in the Gaganyaan mission.

At an altitude of about 17 km, the crew escape system with the crew module will be separated from the test vehicle. Subsequently, the autonomous abort sequence will be initiated, involving the separation of the crew escape system and the deployment of a series of parachutes, culminating in the safe touchdown of the crew module in the sea, approximately 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota. This mission is a significant step in the development and testing of the Gaganyaan program.

What Is Gaganyaan And Why Is It So Important:

The Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate ISRO's human spaceflight capability by sending a human crew into orbit at an altitude of 400 km and safely returning them to Earth.

Gaganyaan project, expected to be launched in 2025 "envisages a demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters" as per ISRO.

It is part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme (IHSP), which was initiated in 2007 by the ISRO to develop the technology needed to launch crewed orbital spacecraft into low earth orbit (LEO).

About Human Rated LVM-3- HLVM-3:

Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3/GSLV Mk3) rocket - the well-proven and reliable heavy lift launcher of ISRO, is identified as the launch vehicle for the Gaganyaan mission.

India's heaviest rocket consists of solid stage, liquid stage and cryogenic stage.

All systems in the LVM3 launch vehicle are re-configured to meet human rating requirements and christened Human Rated LVM3/HLV.

The Astronauts Being Trained For The Historical Feat:

According to information in the ISRO website, Astronaut Training Facility established in Bengaluru provides a comprehensive training program for astronauts preparing for the Gaganyaan mission. The training facility covers various aspects, including:

Classroom Training: Astronauts receive academic instruction on a range of topics related to spaceflight and mission-specific knowledge.

Physical Fitness Training: Physical fitness is a critical component of astronaut training to ensure astronauts are in optimal condition for space travel.

Simulator Training: Astronauts undergo training using simulators to simulate various aspects of spaceflight and spacecraft operation.

Flight Suit Training: Astronauts are trained in the use of flight suits and other specialized equipment.

Gaganyaan Flight Systems: Training modules cover the specifics of the Gaganyaan spacecraft and its systems.

Micro-Gravity Familiarization: Astronauts experience microgravity through parabolic flights to become accustomed to the unique conditions of space.

Aero-Medical Training: This training covers medical procedures and considerations in space.

Recovery & Survival Training: Astronauts learn how to handle emergency situations, including spacecraft recovery and survival procedures.

Flight Procedures: Astronauts master the necessary flight procedures for their mission.

Crew Training Simulators: Training on simulators helps astronauts become proficient in spacecraft operations.

Aero Medical Training: This training focuses on medical procedures and considerations in space.

Periodical Flying Practice: Astronauts regularly practice flying to maintain their skills.

Yoga: Yoga is included as part of the training to enhance physical and mental well-being, which is crucial for long-duration space missions.

The Way Forward?

As per the information listed on the ISRO website, Pad Abort Tests (PAT), Unmanned Flights and finally the Manned Flights are planned further after a much anticipated and hopeful test named Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission - 1 or TV-D1 on 21st October.