Gaganyaan Mission is India’s first manned space mission, which aims to send three Indian astronauts to low Earth orbit for seven days by 2024. The mission is part of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme (IHSP), which was approved by the government in 2018. The mission will demonstrate India’s capability to launch and operate a human spaceflight vehicle and conduct scientific experiments in space.
How is the test flight different from the actual mission?
The test flight, which is scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota on October 21, 2023, is a precursor to the actual mission. The test flight will carry a humanoid robot named Vyommitra, which will simulate the functions of a human astronaut. The robot will communicate with the ground station and perform various tasks inside the crew module. The test flight will also carry some scientific payloads and experiments.
The test flight will use an enhanced version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), which is India’s heaviest rocket. The rocket will place the crew module into an orbit of about 300 km above the Earth. The crew module will separate from the rocket and re-enter the atmosphere after about 40 minutes. The module will be recovered from the Bay of Bengal by the Indian Coast Guard.
Why is the test flight important for India’s space programme?
The test flight is a crucial step for India’s space programme, as it will validate the design and performance of the crew module, the launch vehicle, the recovery system, and the ground support systems. The test flight will also provide valuable data and feedback for improving the systems and procedures for the actual mission. The test flight will also demonstrate India’s readiness and confidence to undertake human spaceflight missions in the future.
The test flight will also boost India’s prestige and pride in the global space arena, as it will join an elite club of countries that have achieved human spaceflight capabilities. Only three countries – Russia, USA, and China – have successfully launched humans into space so far. India will be the fourth country to do so, if it accomplishes its Gaganyaan Mission by 2024.
How can you watch the test flight live?
You can watch the live telecast of the test flight on various platforms, such as:
- ISRO’s official website: www.isro.gov.in
- ISRO’s official YouTube channel: ISRO Official
- ISRO’s official Facebook page: Indian Space Research Organisation – ISRO
- ISRO’s official Twitter handle: @isro
- Doordarshan’s national channel: DD National
The live telecast will start at 9:30 am IST on October 21, 2023. The launch window is between 10:00 am and 11:00 am IST.