Gaganyaan mission: With hopes of a billion people in India, ISRO successfully launches test flight

Gaganyaan mission launch: The test vehicle launch mission to see the viability of the ISRO mission has been successfully conducted.

| Updated on: Oct 21 2023, 11:01 IST
ISRO launched the Gaganyaan mission test vehicle into space at 10 AM today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. (DD National)
ISRO launched the Gaganyaan mission test vehicle into space at 10 AM today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. (DD National)

An important phase in the Indian Space Research Organization's Gaganyaan mission came to fruition today, October 21, as the space agency successfully launched its test vehicle into space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The Gaganyaan mission test flight checks an important fail-safe mechanism to gauge whether the spacecraft can abort the mission mid-air and still safely bring back the crew or not. The Gaganyaan mission today did not carry any humans to space and it was an unmanned mission. The data ISRO collects from today's mission will help the agency build a more efficient vehicle when three Indian astronauts eventually go for the three-day long space flight and reach a height of 400 kilometers from Earth. The Gaganyaan mission is being conducted under the guidance of ISRO chief S. Somanath.

Gaganyaan test vehicle takes off, safely splashes down in Bay of Bengal

The launch event suffered from multiple delays before the launch. The original lift-off time was 8:00 AM IST, however, that was pushed to 8:30 AM. Then after another delay, the first launch attempt was taken at 8:45 AM, however, due to some anomaly, the automated launch sequence was stopped as the on-ground computer detected something unusual and triggered the temporary halt. 

At the time, ISRO chief S Somanath said, “We had a very smooth automatic launch sequence leading up to the command to lift-off. But engine lift-off did not happen. We have to find out what went wrong. The vehicle is safe. We will come back soon after analyzing what triggered the hold on the vehicle. The ground checkout computer withheld the launch after observing an anomaly”. 

It appeared that the launch would not happen today, but ISRO's official X account tweeted at 9:35 AM that the issue was identified and corrected, and the launch was rescheduled for 10 AM.

Finally, the launch occurred at the destined time, and after a flight time of 9 minutes, the test vehicle detached from the rocket and splashed safely in the Bay of Bengal waters.

“I'm very happy to announce the successful accomplishment of the TV-D1 mission. The purpose of the mission was to demonstrate the Crew Escape System (CES) for the Gaganyaan program through a test vehicle demonstration in which the vehicle has gone slightly above the Mach number that is the speed of sound. The CES took the crew module away from the vehicle and the subsequent operations by the crew, parachutes opening, and touchdown in the sea at the required velocity has been very well accomplished. We have received confirmation of data on all of this,” said Somanath, after the completion of mission. 

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First Published Date: 21 Oct, 10:18 IST