Following a brief setback caused by a rocket ignition issue, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission (TV-D1), which is designed to evaluate the crew escape system for India's inaugural human space flight, Gaganyaan.
This critical test flight had encountered a last-minute hold just one second before liftoff at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, triggered by an ignition malfunction in the newly developed TV-D1 rocket. ISRO promptly identified and rectified the root cause of the problem.
As the launch countdown had reached its final second, an unexpected plume of smoke emerged from the base of the rocket, prompting mission control to announce an immediate hold.
S Somanath, the chairman of ISRO, explained, "Engine ignition did not take place. The automated launch sequence started as planned but did not complete. The launch will be scheduled after correcting the anomalies."
The primary objective of the test is to evaluate the functionality of the Crew Escape System installed on the crew module for the Gaganyaan mission. In essence, this mission aims to assess the safety mechanism designed to facilitate the safe evacuation of the Gaganyaan crew in the event of a mission abort caused by a malfunction.
The Crew Escape System continuously monitors the spacecraft's systems and launch conditions, actively scanning for anomalies that may endanger the crew's safety. These anomalies could include factors such as excessive vibrations, loss of control, engine failure, or other critical system failures. When such a situation is detected, the Crew Escape System is activated to initiate an abort sequence.
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