With India’s Space Research Organization (ISRO) in full swing for Gaganyaan, the country’s first manned space mission is set to launch in 2023, interesting details about the crew module (CM) including choices for landing, crew evacuation system and survival packages for each crew member, have emerged.
The CM would be splashing near the Indian coast in 2023 after the week-long mission, and the comparatively calm Arabian Sea is the top choice, but the Bay of Bengal is also seen as a backup option, writes Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair S, director, Human Space Flight Center (HSFC), ISRO, Bengaluru, in an article.
The article ‘Indian Human Space Mission’ appears in the Manorama Yearbook 2022.
The HSFC was established by ISRO in Bengaluru in 2019 for sustained and affordable manned space flight activities and Gaganyaan is the first project.
The test flight to validate the performance of the Crew Escape System and Gaganyaan’s first unmanned mission is scheduled for the start of the second half of 2022.
The Gaganyaan Orbital Module (OM) consists of two parts, the Crew Module (CM) and the Service Module (SM) ù and weighs approximately 8,000 kg.
In orbit, the OM will orbit the Earth at a speed of around 7,800 m / s.
The CM, a double-walled system and the habitat of the astronauts, who would be part of the manned mission, has an ablative thermal protection system (TPS) to protect it during intense aerodynamic heating during flight, points out Dr Nair.
The Orbital module will be launched by the Human Rated Launch Vehicle (HRLV), which is a modified version of the GSLV MK-III vehicle. The CM has a group of small thrusters with a thrust level of 100N based on green propulsion which will be fired in a controlled manner to change the attitude of the module during the reentry and atmospheric flight phases.
After landing, the CM’s coordinates will be transmitted to the recovery team waiting in the ships. The CM has a survival kit for each crew that can support them for almost two days. However, ISRO is satisfied that the crew can be recovered within two hours of the landing.