THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A few months from now, the crew module successfully tested by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) aboard next-gen rocket GSLV MK-III on Thursday morning will find a permanent home in Thiruvananthapuram.
After studies are completed on the module prototype, which was recovered from the Bay of Bengal as planned, it will go on display at ISRO’s Space Museum here at Thumba, said M Chandradathan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
The Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) was conducted to demonstrate India’s ability to send astronauts to space and return them safely. Thursday’s test was done with an unmanned module, needless to say.
“The prototype has been recovered successfully from the sea and will reach Ennore Port on December 22. From there it will be taken to Sriharikota where studies will be conducted on it. Finally, it will be brought to Thiruvananthapuram,” Chandradathan, who arrived back in the city after Thursday’s Mk-III launch from the Sriharikota spaceport, said.
The crew module, which in fact was developed at VSSC, is designed to hold two astronauts and is a major step forward in India’s human spaceflight programme.
Once it is brought to the Space Museum here, it will have as company at the museum the SRE-I (short for Space Capsule Recovery Experiment) capsule, which was the first ever atmospheric re-entry and recovery experiment conducted by ISRO. That successful mission was staged in 2007.
Shaped like a cup cake, the crew module was dropped to earth from a height of 126 kilometres. It landed within the specified location in the Bay of Bengal, Chandradathan said. ‘’The module is in perfect condition,’’ he said.