ISRO Successfully Tests Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission

ISRO marked a momentous achievement on 19th July with the successful test of the Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) located in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. This mission, a significant milestone in India’s space exploration endeavors, is designed to send a crew of three members into a 400 km orbit, where they will undertake a three-day journey before safely returning to Earth with a planned landing in the Indian Sea Waters.

The Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission represents a remarkable feat in space technology, reflecting India’s dedication to showcasing its prowess in human spaceflight capabilities. The mission involves the integration of various propulsion systems, including the deployment of five liquid apogee motor (LAM) engines generating a thrust of 440 Newton and 16 reaction control system (RCS) thrusters with a thrust of 100 N. These combined systems ensure precise control and maneuverability during the mission’s different phases.

The Service Module of the Gaganyaan spacecraft is equipped with a regulated bi-propellant-based propulsion system that fulfills critical functions such as orbit injection, circularization, on-orbit control, de-boost maneuvering, and SM-based abort procedures during the ascent phase. During the ascending phase of the mission, the 440 N thrust LAM engine serves as the primary propulsive force, while the RCS thrusters play a vital role in ensuring precise attitude corrections.

In preparation for the mission, ISRO conducted a series of hot tests on the System Demonstration Model, simulating the fluid circuit of the Service Module Propulsion System. These tests involved the propellant tank feed system, helium pressurization system, flight-qualified thrusters, and control components. The first hot test of the Phase-2 test series successfully demonstrated the integrated performance of the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System (SMPS). The test, lasting 250 seconds, involved continuous firing of LAM engines and RCS thrusters, showcasing the advanced capabilities of the SMPS in the full configuration.

As part of the Phase-1 test series, ISRO conducted five hot tests, accumulating a total duration of 2,750 seconds. This initial phase focused on testing five 440 N engines of LAM and eight 100 N RCS thrusters, ensuring the propulsion systems’ functionality and reliability.

The Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Mission stands as a testament to India’s progress in the field of space exploration and represents a significant step towards demonstrating the nation’s capability in manned space missions. With its relentless pursuit of cutting-edge technology, ISRO continues to inspire awe and wonder, positioning India as a frontrunner in space exploration on the global stage.