Gaganyaan mission's crew capsule during previous test

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will likely conduct the crucial integrated air-drop test for the Gaganyaan mission's crew module next week.

Initially set for this week, the test is now slated for execution next week at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, sources in the Indian space agency told

This pivotal test forms part of the preparatory steps leading up to India's ambitious manned spaceflight.

The crew module, designed to ensure the safe return of astronauts from space, will be dropped from an altitude of approximately 3.5 to 4 kilometres using an Indian Air Force helicopter.

This procedure aims to assess the parachute system's functionality and the capsule's overall stability and safety during descent.

The crew capsule will undergo a series of parachute deployments upon release, culminating in a controlled splashdown in the Bay of Bengal. These tests are critical in validating the safety measures and operational capabilities of the module.

The decision to postpone was influenced by the need for additional technical preparations and favourable weather conditions, ensuring the highest standards of safety and success are met.

ISRO has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), indicating the airspace restrictions applicable during the test period.

This air-drop test is not merely a procedural requirement but a demonstration of ISRO's commitment to upholding stringent safety protocols for its astronauts. It marks one of the final major preparatory activities before the Gaganyaan mission's first uncrewed orbital flight.

Sources close to the project suggest that while the exact date remains under wraps, all systems are geared towards a launch window within the next week, pending final checks and optimal weather conditions.

(With Agency Inputs)