The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday successfully carried out a technology demonstration of its Crew Escape System- a crucial technology necessary for human space flight. Today’s technology demonstrator is part of a series of tests to qualify the Crew Escape System, which is an emergency escape system designed to quickly separate and pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the rocket or launch vehicle in the case of a launch abort.
ISRO’s technology demonstrator test of the Crew Escape System was the first test (Pad Abort Test) which demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in the case of any exigency at the launch pad, the space agency said in a press release. Following a five-hour countdown, the simulated crew module along with the Crew Escape System weighing 12.6 tonnes lifted-off at 7:00 AM (IST) at the opening of the launch window from its pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
The technology demonstrator was completed within 259 seconds, during which the Crew Escape System along with the crew module flew skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota. The crew module reportedly reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven ‘quick acting’ solid motors to take away the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels.
ISRO mentioned that nearly 300 sensors recorded the mission performance parameters during the test flight. Three recovery boards have been deployed to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.