Updated February 29th, 2024 at 06:54 IST

First Uncrewed Test Flight for India's landmark Gaganyaan Mission Set to Launch by July 2024

Gaganyaan project aims to transport three astronauts in a first-ever manned mission to the space. It envisages the demonstration of India’s human spaceflight.

Reported by: Digital Desk
ISRO's PSLV-C58 carrying an X-ray polarimeter satellite and 10 other satellite lifts off from the spaceposrt of Sriharikota. | Image:PTI
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The first unmanned Gaganyaan-1 mission, a test flight to check the technology readiness for the final mission for India’s historic space project will be launched in July 2024. “The manned mission, which will fly a three-membered crew into a low earth orbit at an altitude of 400 km for a period of three days, is scheduled later,” ISRO said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Before the final manned ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, there will be a test flight launched by ISRO carrying a female robot astronaut ‘Vyommitra’ onboard to ensure a successful landing in space. In October 2023, ISRO test launched the Gaganyaan Test Vehicle Space flight known as the Gaganyaan Test Vehicle Development flight (TV-D1). 

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In 2024, ISRO also plans to test the efficacy of the new escape System, a crucial part of the Gaganyaan Mission for a manned journey to the outer space from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

“The test involves launching a crew module to outer space and bringing it back to Earth and recovering it after touchdown in the Bay of Bengal. Indian Navy personnel have already started mock operations to recover the module,” ISRO said.

The Gaganyaan project aims to transport three astronauts in a first-ever manned mission to the space. It envisages the demonstration of India’s human spaceflight capability by launching a human crew to an orbit of 400 km and bringing them back safely to Earth, by landing in Indian sea waters. This year, ISRO plans to carry out at least 12 launches to successfully land the spacecraft. “We are planning at least 12 missions for 2024. It may also go up depending on our ability to produce the hardware and complete testing,” ISRO chairman S Somanath said at a conference. India is among the top five nations in the field of space exploration, and created history last year by becoming the first country to land on the virgin south-polar region of the lunar surface.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier yesterday conferred the ‘Astronaut Wings’ on four test pilots shortlisted for India’s manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan.' During his visit to ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala’s Capital Thiruvananthapuram, the Prime Minister honoured the four pilots shortlisted for the joint International Space Station (ISS) mission collaborated between ISRO and NASA. "This mission will be planned ahead of India's human spaceflight mission so as to give the astronauts enough opportunity to learn from the ISS mission to plan well for Gaganyaan,” the Prime Minister said.

During his visit to ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala’s Capital Thiruvananthapuram, the Prime Minister honoured the four pilots shortlisted for the joint International Space Station (ISS) mission collaborated between ISRO and NASA. "This mission will be planned ahead of India's human spaceflight mission so as to give the astronauts enough opportunity to learn from the ISS mission to plan well for Gaganyaan,” the Prime Minister said.

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 12:29 IST