‘Test vehicle’ for crew escape to be ready soon

Published - December 21, 2019 12:34 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

A low-cost ‘test vehicle’ that will be used to test the crew escape system for Gaganyaan, ISRO's manned mission to space, is expected to be ready soon, S. Somanath, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said on Friday.

“We have to demonstrate the crew escape system in a low-cost mission scenario. We are designing a test vehicle on which the crew escape system can be incorporated and tested in a variety of conditions to show that we can recover the crew safely,” Mr. Somanath said, addressing a national conference on aerospace quality and reliability. Though by definition a ‘test vehicle,’ in effect it would a complete launch vehicle in itself and would undergo the required qualification process, Mr. Somanath said. “We have almost completed the design and all items are under fabrication. The challenge is to design and get it ready in six months,” he said.

ISRO plans the Gaganyaan mission in December 2021. The crew escape system is an emergency escape measure in the Gaganyaan mission designed to release the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort.

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