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India schedules Gaganyaan launch abort test for October 21st

India’s space agency ISRO has now scheduled the first unmanned launch abort test of its Gaganyaan manned capsule for October 21, 2023.

The test Crew Module (CM), according to the statement, will be akin to the pressurized module that’ll hold crew members during their ascent to space — this version, however, will be unpressurized. It will be launched via a single-stage liquid rocket specifically developed for this mission that will simulate an abort scenario; the true CM, by contrast, will ride atop a 143-foot-tall (43.5-meter) Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) rocket with a solid stage, liquid stage and cryogenic stage. The latter recently received human safety certifications, R. Hutton, project director of the Gaganyaan mission, said during a conference last month.

At present ISRO is targeting 2024 for the first manned mission, but that target date remains very uncertain.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Jeff Wright

    Not much different than Mercury

  • Jay

    When I first heard of India’s manned spacecraft, I thought for sure that it was going to be another knock-off of the Soyuz, just like China’s Shenzhou. When I saw the concept drawings, ISRO’s official pictures, and finally the test articles, to me it looks almost like Russia’s concept of the Orel spacecraft. Comparing the numbers (mass, volume) published by ISRO, it is smaller than the Orel, but bigger than a Soyuz. I guess we call it Orel-lite.

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