Bangalore; According to a January 4, 2024 article in The TOI, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch an uncrewed Gaganyaan mission before the scheduled abort tests in 2024.

The Gaganyaan mission began with the TV-D1 abort mission in October 2023. ISRO is planning to conduct three abort mission demonstrations, including at least one uncrewed mission.

The space agency is also planning to send two identical uncrewed missions (G1 and G2) before the manned mission.

S Somanath, chairman, ISRO, told TOI: “We’re working on both — the first uncrewed mission and the second abort test on the test vehicle (TV-D2). Depending on the readiness, we will decide which one is to be launched first,” indicating that the first uncrewed mission could even happen before the TV-D2.

He said the abort missions are only a prerequisite for the crewed mission and not the uncrewed ones and added that the first uncrewed mission will not carry the service module while the space agency is targeting to send the half-humanoid, Vyommitra.

“We will finalise on whether Vyommitra will go as part of the first one at a later stage. We’ll need to carry out a minimum of two successful uncrewed missions before the final configuration and we should be able to launch at least one this year. The initial target is for the first half of 2024,” Somanath said.

ISRO is preparing for at least 12–14 missions in 2024, including demonstrator missions like the integrated air drop test (IADT), pad abort test (PAT), and test vehicle (TV) flights. ISRO is aiming to launch the uncrewed mission before the first quarter of 2024.