ISRO conducts first test of crew escape module for India’s manned mision to space
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted test of Crew Escape System that provides escape mechanism for astronauts if the launch operation is aborted. The crew escape system is being developed as part of the he proposed human spaceflight programme. It was first pad abort test critical for future human space mission that demonstrated safe recovery of crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad. The test lasted little more than three minutes and involved aborting space capsule at launch to save astronaut.
India at present does not have human space flight programme. Only three countries United States of America (USA), Russia and China have human space flight programmes. The only Indian citizen to ever travel to space was fighter pilot Rakesh Sharma who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 (spacecraft of former USSR) in 1984.
ISRO is preparing report to be submitted to government for approval for human space flight programme. Critical technology developments and demonstration for indigenous human space flight capability are in progress. The crew module systems, space suit, recovery systems, crew escape systems and elements of environmental control and life support systems already have developed by ISRO.
ISRO already has designed phased programme in place to execute such mission. Once it gets government approval, it will be ready to demonstrate and execute human space flight within short time frame. If the programme approved, it could take less than 10 years for ISRO to take human to space once.