• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will conduct two unmanned ‘Abort Mission’ in 2022 to ensure crew safety during the Gaganyaan mission.
  • This is a part of ISRO’s roadmap for the country’s first manned flight to space.
  • The first test vehicle for this purpose will be launched in September 2021.

Abort Mission Before Gaganyaan

  • The abort missions are meant to test the systems that can help the crew escape from the spacecraft mid-flight in case of a failure.
  • ISRO already conducted a pad abort test — where the crew can escape from the spacecraft in case of an emergency at the launch pad — in 2018.
  • For the abort missions, ISRO has developed test vehicles that can send the systems up to a certain height, simulate failure, and then check the escape system.
  • Escape system is designed with five “quick-acting” solid fuel motors with a high burn rate propulsion system, and fins to maintain stability.
  • The crew escape system will separate from the crew module by firing explosive nuts.
  • ISRO’s focus is on perfecting the system that will launch and land Indians on missions to space and to protect the astronauts if the mission fails.

Gaganyaan Mission

  • Gaganyaan is a mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • Under the Gaganyaan schedule (to be launched in 2023):
  • Three flights will be sent into orbit.
  • There will be two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight.
  • The Gaganyaan system module, called the Orbital Module will have three Indian astronauts, including a woman.
  • It will circle Earth at a low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from earth for 5-7 days.


The payload will consist of:

  1. Crew module: Spacecraft carrying human beings.
  2. Service module: Powered by two liquid propellant engines.
  3. It will be equipped with emergency escape and emergency mission abort.

GSLV Mk III, also called the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3,) the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability.

Training in Russia:

  • In June 2019, the Human Space Flight Centre of the ISRO and the Russian government-owned Glavkosmos signed a contract for the training, which includes Russian support in the selection of candidates, their medical examination, and space training.
  • The candidates will study in detail the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship, as well as be trained in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the Il-76MDK aircraft.
  • The Soyuz is a Russian spacecraft. The Soyuz carries people and supplies to and from the space station.
  • The Il-76MDK is a military transport plane specially designed for parabolic flights of trainee astronauts and space tourists.

Significance of Gaganyaan Mission

  • It will help in enhancement of science and technology levels in the country and help inspire youth.
  • Gaganyaan will involve numerous agencies, laboratories, disciplines, industries and departments.
  • It will help in the development of technology for social benefits.
  • It will help in the improvement of industrial growth.
  • Recently, the Government has announced a new organisation, IN-SPACe, part of reforms to increase private participation in the space sector.
  • It will help in improving international collaboration.
  • One International Space Station (ISS) put up by multiple countries may not be enough. Regional ecosystems will be needed and Gaganyaan will focus on regional needs: food, water and energy security.
  • Chandrayaan-3 Mission: India has planned a new moon mission named Chandrayaan-3. It is likely to be launched in 2022.


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