- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), along with the Indian Navy, has conducted an important trial for the Gaganyaan, human space flight mission.
- On Tuesday, they carried out initial recovery trials of the Crew Module in the Navy’s Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF) in Kochi.
- “The trials were part of the preparation for crew module recovery operations for the Gaganyaan mission that will be carried out in Indian waters with the participation of Indian Government agencies, the overall recovery operations being led by the Indian Navy.
- A Crew Module Recovery Model (CMRM), that simulates the mass, center of gravity, outer dimensions, and externals of the actual Crew Module at touchdown, was used for the trials.
- The sequence of operations required for the recovery of the Crew Module were carried out as part of the trials.
- According to ISRO, as the safe recovery of the crew is the final step to be accomplished for any successful human spaceflight, it is of paramount importance and it has to be carried out with the minimum lapse of time.
- The project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian waters
- Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3 days mission and bring them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters.
- The project is accomplished through an optimal strategy by considering inhouse expertise, experience of Indian industry, intellectual capabilities of Indian academia & research institutions along with cutting edge technologies available with international agencies.
- The pre-requisites for Gaganyaan mission include development of many critical technologies including human rated launch vehicle for carrying crew safely to space, Life Support System to provide an earth like environment to crew in space, crew emergency escape provision and evolving crew management aspects for training, recovery and rehabilitation of crew.
- Various precursor missions are planned for demonstrating the Technology Preparedness Levels before carrying out the actual Human Space Flight mission.
- These demonstrator missions include Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT) and Test Vehicle (TV) flights. Safety and reliability of all systems will be proven in unmanned missions preceding manned mission.
Human rated LVM3 – HLVM3
- LVM3 rocket – The well proven and reliable heavy lift launcher of ISRO, is identified as the launch vehicle for Gaganyaan mission.
- It consists of solid stage, liquid stage and cryogenic stage. All systems in LVM3 launch vehicle are re-configured to meet human rating requirements and christened Human Rated LVM3. HLVM3 will be capable of launching the Orbital Module to an intended Low Earth Orbit of 400 km.
- HLVM3 consists of Crew Escape System (CES) powered by a set of quick acting, high burn rate solid motors which ensures that Crew Module along with crew is taken to a safe distance in case of any emergency either at launch pad or during ascent phase.
- Orbital Module (OM) that will be Orbiting Earth comprises of Crew Module (CM) and Service Module (SM). OM is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics systems with adequate redundancy considering human safety.
- CM is the habitable space with Earth like environment in space for the crew. It is of double walled construction consisting of pressurized metallic Inner Structure and unpressurised External Structure with Thermal Protection System (TPS). It houses the crew interfaces, human centric products, life support system, avionics and deceleration systems. It is also designed for re-entry to ensure safety of the crew during descent till touchdown.
- SM will be used for providing necessary support to CM while in orbit. It is an unpressurized structure containing thermal system, propulsion system, power systems, avionics systems and deployment mechanisms.
New technologies being developed for Gaganyaan
Human safety is of paramount importance in Gaganyaan mission. In order to ensure the same, various new technologies comprising of Engineering systems and Human centric systems are being developed and realised.
Crew training for Gaganyaan
- Astronaut Training Facility established in Bengaluru caters to Classroom training, Physical Fitness training, Simulator training and Flight suit training.
- Training modules cover academic courses, Gaganyaan Flight Systems, Micro-gravity familiarization through Parabolic Flights, Aero-medical training, Recovery & Survival training, mastering of Flight Procedures and training on Crew Training Simulators. Aero medical training, Periodical flying practice and Yoga are also included as part of the training.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB