2024 to be a year of Gaganyaan readiness: ISRO Chairman
ISRO has lined up a series of tests for Gaganyaan, its ambitious manned mission, this year and 2024 will be a year of "Gaganyaan readiness," said the agency's Chairman S Somanath here on Monday. The Bengaluru-headquartered space agency earlier in the day had successfully placed its first X-Ray Polarimeter satellite in PSLV C58 mission.
Briefing reporters on ISRO's agenda for 2024, he said, "We are going to get ready for at least 12-14 missions this year. 2024 is going to be a year for Gaganyaan readiness, though it is targeted for 2025.
"The Gaganyaan mission began with the TV-D1 or the abort mission (successfully conducted in October 2023). We have four such missions in the series. Our target is to do at least two more in 2024. By then, we will have three abort mission demonstrations," Somanath, who is also a Secretary in the Department of Space, said.
Somanath said that the unmanned missions would help the agency understand its preparedness of various hardware, adding that ISRO would also conduct helicopter-based drop test to prove the parachute systems for the unmanned mission.
"There will be multiple drop tests. Also, we will have the launch pad abort and hundreds of such valuation tests including environmental control support system tests, the crew module related tests and simulation tests," he said.
On the other missions lined up for ISRO in 2024, he said, "We are going to have launches of GSLV for NISAR this year itself. We are going to have the first flight of GSLV with INSAT-3DS soon. The (launch) vehicle is almost ready.
"The second flight of GSLV will carry the NASA-ISRO synthetic aperture radar satellite. This means that a minimum of two GSLV satellites are required to be launched. There are a few more in pipeline, including the NAVIC series." he said.
The space agency has also planned to launch two commercial missions of PSLV for the clients of NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) this year, Somanath said.
"We also have remote sensing missions of PSLV. So, there will be multiple PSLV missions," he said.
ISRO would also undertake a 'Reusable Launch Vehicle Mission' this year to demonstrate the rockets under severe conditions. "We are planning at least two more landing experiments in 2024 with different conditions to validate its extremity handling capacity," Somanath said.
Recalling that ISRO successfully undertook a scramjet test demonstration using 'hydrogen' as a fuel for sounding rockets, he said, "With kerosene as a fuel, we are going to test the scramjet now. We are going to have these scramjets in sounding rocket this year." "In 12 months we must have a minimum of 12 missions. That is our target, of course. It may exceed depending upon our ability to produce hardwares, complete the testing and all that. We are going to get ready for at least 12-14 missions this year," he said.