India conducting tests for ambitious manned space missions
In New Delhi, India is on the verge of conducting a crucial test for its ambitious crewed space endeavor, Gaganyaan, possibly within the coming month, according to R. Hutton, the project director of the mission, who informed Reuters.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is presently training four astronauts and has intentions to expand this group as part of its broader objectives for future manned missions, Hutton explained.
The primary goal of the Gaganyaan mission is to create a space capsule suitable for human habitation, designed to carry a crew of three on a three-day journey into an orbit approximately 400 km (250 miles) above Earth, eventually returning them safely via a planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean.
Following the completion of Gaganyaan, ISRO has expressed its intent to explore strategies for maintaining a continuous human presence in space. The team is focusing on testing the crew escape system, which can be employed in emergency astronaut ejections, as a priority before proceeding with a series of other examinations leading up to the final launch phase, all in the name of ensuring utmost safety.
Hutton emphasized, "Safety is the foremost consideration." An allocation of around 90.23 billion Indian rupees ($1.1 billion) has been designated for this mission, following ISRO's landmark achievement of landing its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the lunar south pole.
While an exact launch date has not been disclosed, the mission is anticipated to take off from Sriharikota, the nation's primary spaceport, prior to the year 2024. The space agency has previously reported successful tests at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre pertaining to systems responsible for stabilizing the crew module and safely reducing its velocity during re-entry.