Isro gets closer to manned mission, tests crew module


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ISRO’s GSLV Mark III (Click Image to Download)

This rocket didn’t put a satellite in orbit. In fact, its payload plunged into the Bay of Bengal 20 minutes after the vehicle lifted off from Sriharikota. And that made it a success, for it was the first step to India’s manned space mission.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved success of a different kind on Thursday when its GSLV Mark III on a suborbital experimental flight carried an unmanned crew module which was ejected at a height of 126km. Re-entering the atmosphere, its parachutes ensured a soft-thud on the sea. Recovered by the Indian Coast Guard, the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) will undergo tests to ascertain its efficiency in bringing back future astronauts from India.

“Everything went as per plan,” said ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan. “After a decade of developing the GSLV Mk II, we have tasted the first success of an experimental flight. The performances of the solid and liquid stages were as expected. The unmanned crew module worked extremely well.”

Source : Times of india

Isro to Test-Fly Heaviest Rocket, Crew Module on December 18


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(Click Image to Download)

India will test-fly its heaviest and upgraded rocket – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mark III) – on December 18, space agency Isro said Friday.

According to a tweet by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), the 630-tonne rocket will be powered by liquid and solid fuel engines while the cryogenic stage/engine will be a passive one.

The rocket will also carry a crew module to test its re-entry characteristics.

“The main purpose of the mission is to test the atmospheric characteristics and stability of the rocket on its way up. We also decided to use this opportunity to test one component of the crew module – a human space mission that India may embark on at a later date,” M.Y.S Prasad, director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, told reporters in a recent interaction.

The experimental mission will cost Rs. 155 crores and will not carry any satellite as the cryogenic engine needed for the purpose is still under development, he said.

“This will be India’s new launch vehicle. It is bigger and can carry satellites up to four tonnes,” said GSLV Mark III project director S. Somanath.

The main objective of the crew module is to demonstrate its re-entry flight and aero braking, and end-to-end parachute system validation.

The rocket will go up to 126km and the crew capsule will then detach and fall into the Bay of Bengal, 20 minutes after blast-off.

The descent speed of the crew module will be controlled on board motors for some distance and then by three parachutes.

The module will splash down 600km from Port Blair and 1,600km from the space centre. The capsule will be recovered by an Indian Coast Guard or Indian Navy ship.

Source : NDTV

Isro to Test Crew Module in December for India’s First Human Space Flight


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India will launch an unmanned crew module in December onboard a heavy rocket to test its re-entry into the atmosphere for the country’s maiden human space flight, the space agency chief said Thursday.
“We will send an unmanned crew module on the experimental GSLV-Mark III rocket in December and test its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere for a human space flight plan in future,” Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters in Bangalore on the margins of an engineers conclave.

Weighing 3.6 tonnes, the crew module will be put into orbit 100-120km up in a satellite and brought back to Earth for checking its re-entry characteristics when carrying two Indian astronauts in the proposed human space flight.

“Though the actual human space flight will be in an orbit around earth at a height of 270km for a week, the experimental flight with the crew module in a spacecraft will go up to 100-120km above earth to test its heat shield survive very high temperatures (about 1,500 degrees Celsius) during the re-entry into the atmosphere,” Radhakrishnan noted.

The crew module will have a parachute that will open up after re-entry into the atmosphere and fall into sea for retrieval.

“The parachute will open up for soft landing of the spacecraft carrying the crew module in the Bay of Bengal, about 450 km away from Andamans (islands), and will be retrieved by a boat,” Radhakrishnan said.

The previous UPA government had sanctioned Rs. 145 crores to Isro for developing a crew module that will fly two Indian astronauts into space, space suits, life support systems and related technologies for the human space flight programme.

The heavy rocket (GSLV) will, however, have a passive cryogenic stage – liquid nitrogen at super cooled temperature and gaseous nitrogen instead of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

The space agency is integrating the rocket with the crew module at its Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.

Source : NDTV

GSLV-Mark III launch in 45 days, says ISRO chief


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A step closer to sending astronauts into space

In just 45 days from now, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would launch its most ambitious suborbital — less than the usual orbit- test flight — Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III.

It will be an unmanned crew module. This will unleash India’s dream of sending its astronauts into space come true.

“We will comeback soon with an unmatched module in the next 45 days. GSLV Mark III will be one of the heaviest indigenous launch vehicles,” said K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, ISRO, after the launch of PSLV C26, IRNSS-1C, the third satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The GSLV Mark III will help ISRO put heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class into orbit. These satellites weigh anywhere between 4,500-5,000 kg. The vehicle is 42.4 metre tall compared to the other GSLV which is 49 metre. It will be a three-stage vehicle.

“We are already working on this next launch. The work is completed and in testing stages,” Y.S. Prasad, Director, SHAR, said.

Terming the Mark III mission as most important and challenging, M. Chandradathan, Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO, said: “It is one of the heaviest indigenous launch vehicles that is been developed till date.”

The launch of GSLV Mark III will enhance India’s capability to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO (geo transfer orbit), LEO (low earth orbit), Polar and intermediate circular orbits.