India took another step forward with its human spaceflight program, as ISRO tested the crew escape system for its crew capsule in an emergency pad abort situation. The test lasted about 220 seconds, during a two-hour window that opened at 06:00 local time (00:30 UTC). ISRO is yet to confirm the test, but Indian media are claiming it was a success.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a statement said the crew escape system is a critical technology for human spaceflight. ISRO has not made many details of the mission public. However, the crew capsule will likely lift off from atop a dummy booster, allowing it to simulate separating from a failing rocket.
Under the power of its abort motors the capsule will rose into the sky above Sriharikota and headed out to sea – reaching an altitude of around 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles, 1.3 nautical miles).
“The crew escape system is 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 a launch abort.
“The first test (Pad Abort Test) demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” ISRO said.
According to the ISRO, the five-hour countdown was smooth. The crew escape system along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonne, lifted off at 7 a.m. at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The five-hour countdown was smooth, the space agency said. It shared that the crew escape system along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonne, lifted off at 7 this morning at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the crew escape system along with crew module soared skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota.
The crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick acting solid motors to take away the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels. Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight.
Three recovery boats are being exercised to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.