India announces the date of the first flight of its spacecraft

India plans to conduct the first unmanned orbital test of the Gaganyaan spacecraft in July 2024. This was stated by Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, head of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Test of the emergency rescue system of the Gaganyaan spacecraft. Source: ISRO

Gaganyaan has been in development since the beginning of the new century. Due to funding problems, it was on the verge of cancellation several times. The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in delays and postponements. Nevertheless, ISRO still managed to bring the project to the finish line. Last year, experts successfully tested the spacecraft’s emergency rescue system. Now a full-fledged orbital test is next in line.

Gaganyaan ‘s first flight will take place in July 2024. The spacecraft will be launched by an LVM 3 rocket from the territory of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. There will be a humanoid robot named Vyommitra on board. The second test will take place at the end of 2024, and the third in 2025.

If they are successful, a manned flight will follow. It is scheduled for 2025. India recently announced the names of four astronauts who are preparing for this mission. These are pilots Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Angad Pratap, Ajit Krishnan and Shubhanshu Shukla. One or two of them will make up the Gaganyaan’s first crew (the spacecraft is designed for three people in total).

Another pilot from this group will join the crew of the Axiom-4 mission. It will go to the ISS in August this year.

According to

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