India's Gaganyaan mission advances: First crew module ready for liftoff
The Crew Module (CM) is an integral part of the Gaganyaan mission, housing astronauts within a pressurized, Earth-like environment. The CM for this mission is in various stages of development.
ISRO is gearing up to embark on a critical phase of its ambitious Gaganyaan mission, initiating unmanned flight tests to demonstrate the mission's Crew Escape System. In a recent announcement on X (formerly Twitter), ISRO stated that preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) are currently underway.
The Crew Module (CM) is an integral part of the Gaganyaan mission, housing astronauts within a pressurized, Earth-like environment. The CM for this mission is in various stages of development. In the case of the Test Vehicle Abort mission-1 (TV-D1), the CM is an unpressurized variant that has completed integration and testing, ready for transport to the launch complex.
This unpressurized CM version mirrors the size and mass of the actual Gaganyaan CM, accommodating systems for deceleration and recovery, including a complete set of parachutes, recovery aids, actuation systems, and pyrotechnics. The avionics systems within the CM operate in a dual redundant mode, covering navigation, sequencing, telemetry, instrumentation, and power.
The inaugural development flight of the Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is reaching its final preparations. This single-stage liquid rocket, specially designed for the abort mission, carries payloads that include the Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape Systems (CES) equipped with fast-acting solid motors, along with the CM fairing (CMF) and Interface Adapters.
During this flight, the simulation will replicate abort conditions encountered during the ascent trajectory, corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2, as encountered in the Gaganyaan mission. At an altitude of approximately 17 km, the CES and CM will separate. Subsequently, an autonomous abort sequence will unfold, beginning with CES separation and the deployment of a series of parachutes. Ultimately, this sequence will conclude with the safe touchdown of the CM in the sea, approximately 10 km off the coast of Sriharikota.