(ORDO NEWS) — News about the development of Indian manned astronautics is rare, so every message is worth its weight in gold for everyone interested in the topic.
And there is reason for joy: the test program for the first national manned spacecraft Gaganyan is rapidly approaching test orbital launches.
What remains is the refinement and verification of procedures for rescuing the crew on the water, which are already being worked out in practice.
The Hindu reported that the Indian Space Research Organization ( ISRO ), together with the country’s Navy, conducted exercises to rescue the Gaganyan on the water.
The main goal of the event was to finalize standardized procedures at the final stages of a manned mission – when the ship splashed down.
Rescue teams worked with a special weight and size model of the Gaganyan ship – the Crew Module Recovery Model ( CMRM ).
It was created for practicing rescue procedures and in terms of dimensions, external elements and center of mass fully corresponds to the flight specimen at the time of splashdown.
As far as can be judged from what the ISRO and Navy speakers told reporters, the verification of all rescue activities in the closed range was successful.
Next in line are similar tests (or exercises, how to look) in open water. First in the bay, then in the ocean, away from the coast.
Only after that will the “green light” be given to the orbital launch of the spacecraft in unmanned mode. It is expected in late 2023 or early 2024. But there are no exact dates, as usual in astronautics.
Recall that on its first flight into orbit, Gaganyan will not go with people on board, but with a humanoid robot.
The Vyommitra device ( Vyom Mitra, literally “space friend”) is a feminine android capable of mimicking some human actions.
In addition, the robot is equipped with a variety of sensors that will monitor the impact of microgravity on the human body.
The development of the Gaganyan ship started in 2006, the project was officially approved in 2007, the initial technical design and budget were agreed in 2008-2009.
The first flight was planned in less than five years, but was consistently postponed first to the end of the decade, and then completely to the 2020s.
The device with a total mass of 8.2 tons, of which 5.3 tons is a habitable capsule, will have to work in an orbit with a height of 400 kilometers for at least a week.
It is designed for a crew of three and is potentially capable of docking with an orbital station.
In addition to various bench tests of both individual components and the ship as an assembly, Gaganyan passed two flight tests: a space launch along a ballistic trajectory to test thermal protection and landing mechanisms in 2014, and an emergency rescue system test in 2018. Both tests were successful.
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