️ Gaganyaan Countdown Begins: ISRO Prioritizes Mission Readiness Throughout 2024

In a significant announcement, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath has declared 2024 as the year of “Gaganyaan readiness,” highlighting a series of critical tests planned for India’s highly anticipated manned space mission. This announcement follows the successful launch of India’s first X-Ray Polarimeter satellite as part of the PSLV C58 mission, showcasing ISRO’s growing capabilities in space technology.

The Gaganyaan mission, targeting a 2025 launch, was initiated with the TV-D1 or the abort mission, which was successfully conducted in October 2023. This mission marked a significant training experience for the Gaganyaan team. With four abort missions planned in the series, ISRO aims to complete at least two more in 2024, bringing the total to three abort mission demonstrations.

Unmanned missions are a crucial aspect of the Gaganyaan project, as they will allow ISRO to assess the preparedness of various hardware components. Among the tests planned are helicopter-based drop tests to validate the parachute systems. These tests will include multiple drop tests, launch pad aborts, and hundreds of evaluations, including environmental control support system tests, crew module-related tests, and simulation tests.

Additionally, 2024 will witness several other significant ISRO missions. The agency plans to launch GSLV for NISAR and the first flight of GSLV with INSAT-3DS, with the launch vehicle nearly ready. The second GSLV flight will carry the NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar satellite. A minimum of two GSLV satellite launches are required, with several other missions, including those in the NavIC series, also in the pipeline.

Furthermore, ISRO intends to launch two commercial missions of PSLV for clients of NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) this year, along with remote sensing missions of PSLV, indicating multiple PSLV missions. A ‘Reusable Launch Vehicle Mission’ is also on the agenda for 2024, to demonstrate rocket capabilities under severe conditions, with at least two more landing experiments planned to validate extreme condition handling capacity.

This ambitious slate of missions and tests underlines ISRO’s commitment to advancing India’s space capabilities and achieving the milestone of the Gaganyaan manned mission, a landmark event in India’s space exploration history.

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