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ISRO conducts static test for Gaganyaan's booster in Andhra Pradesh

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ISRO conducts static test for Gaganyaans booster in Andhra Pradesh
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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully completed the static firing test of the human space mission programme 'Gaganyaan'. The solid fuel-powered rocket booster engine is expected to carry Indian astronauts to space.

The test was carried out at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. On Friday morning, the 135 seconds test firing of the booster HS200 took place.

The booster engine is part of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV Mk III), a three-stage medium-lift launch vehicle primarily designed to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit. It was later chosen as the launch vehicle for missions under the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme and other science missions like Chandrayaan-2.

The first stage is powered by solid fuel, the second by liquid fuel and the third is a cryogenic stage powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

Unnikrishnan Nair, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said The successful completion of this test marks a major milestone for Gaganyaan, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its performance for the full duration, reported Times of India.

The mission to take Indian astronauts to space was initiated in 2007. As the first part of the mission, an uncrewed flight named Gaganyaan 1 is scheduled to launch not before June 2022. The mission was announced in August 2018 and the human spaceflight was made a priority for ISRO.

After being identified as the launcher for the Gaganyaan mission, the booster is undergoing improvements required for human rating. It is aimed at increasing the safety and reliability of various systems.

If completed on time, India will become the fourth nation to conduct independent human spaceflight after the Soviet Union/Russia, United States, and China.

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