After Chandrayaan-2, VSSC bracing for human space flight

It would be the same GSLV-MkIII version that would carry the vyomanauts to the space.

Published: 24th July 2019 05:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th July 2019 05:32 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After the successful launch of GSLV-MkIII carrying the lander and rover to unravel the mystery of the moon, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), which focuses on achieving excellence in launch vehicle technology for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), here is bracing for Gaganyaan, the ambitious human space flight programme, which includes the crew escape system.

It would be the same GSLV-MkIII version that would carry the vyomanauts to space. However, the vehicle will have to be reconfigured to take astronauts to space by ensuring triple modular redundancy or more as it cannot afford a technical snag like the one that happened in Chandrayaan-2. As per the design, the vehicle will have the three stages -- solid, liquid and cryogenic -- and above it would be the crew module carrying the astronauts for Gaganyaan.

The three-stage vehicle would work in the same way as it performed in the Chandrayaan mission, according to VSSC officials. However, the crew escape system, an emergency escape measure designed to quickly pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of an aborted launch, will have to be integrated after holding test flights.

According to VSSC director S Somanath, there would be some advanced intelligence equipment on board of the vehicle which ensure cent per cent redundancy and there would be two unmanned flights before the final flight with vyomanauts. “We hope the vehicle can be readied by reconfiguring it in a year,” he added.

The unmanned vehicle would be able to cushion the shocks and vibrations to some extent like an aircraft as the human being to be taken to space should be able to withstand them. Further, the advanced equipment in the vehicle must be able to find its faults and rectify them during its flight. ISRO successfully flight-tested the crew escape system on July 5, 2018, the first in a series of tests to qualify the system, which is a critical technology relevant for human spaceflight.

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