The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will conduct the first abort demonstration test on India’s ambitious astronaut mission by the end of this year. The test will be conducted on the crew module being designed and developed indigenously by Isro to test the abort safety feature in case of an emergency.
While experts hope that the maiden uncrewed mission will launch by the end of 2023, the centre is yet to say anything on the matter pertaining to the Rs 9,023 crore project. The details of the first milestone mission were revealed in Parliament by the Department of Space to a question raised by Congress MP T. N. Prathapan.
The Gaganyaan mission is one of the most challenging undertakings by Isro, which has been known for acing difficult missions. The Indian space agency wants to leave no stone unturned on the mission, which will involve three Indian astronauts. Four Indian Air Force officers, whose names remain confidential, are training for the mission and have been working with Russia’s Roscosmos for the mission.
CHANDRYAAN-3 FLIES TO MOON IN 2023
While the abort test for Gaganyaan happens by the end of this year, the Centre has announced plans to launch the much-awaited Chandrayaan-3 mission and the Aditya L-1 mission in 2023. As Chandrayaan-3 heads to the Moon, the Aditya L-1 will be India’s maiden mission targeting the Sun.
The Department of Space in its response stated that both the Chandrayaan-3 mission and the Aditya L-1 will launch in the first quarter of 2023.
The Chandrayaan-3 is a successor of the Chandrayaan-2 mission that crash-landed on the lunar surface in what was one of the biggest losses for the Indian space agency. Meanwhile, the Aditya L1 mission that will be placed in the first Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system will study a number of properties of the Sun, such as the dynamics and origins of coronal mass ejections.
Isro had earlier said that it would be trying to launch the lunar mission by the end of 2022, but the new information clears the air around the mission, which has been further delayed to next year.
Apart from these two big-ticket missions, Isro will also launch the space docking experiment, which will include launching two satellites on PSLV and then making to dock with each other in the vacuum of space. The project could set the stage for a future space station from India. The mission, which has been delayed and is estimated to cost India Rs 124.47 crores, will launch in the third quarter of 2024.
The Centre in a written reply also added that there are no plans to establish a new Isro Centre in the country.