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The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is inching closer to India’s first human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan. As part of their preparations, they are planning a series of integrated air-drop tests (IADTs) to validate the crucial parachute system.

Pre-mission trials for the first IADT have begun at the Sriharikota spaceport. Both the simulated crew module and the Indian Air Force’s Chinook aircraft, tasked with carrying the module to the drop altitude, have arrived at the site.

While an official launch date for the test hasn’t been announced, Isro expects to conduct it within the next week. This test will be a significant step towards ensuring the safety of the crew during their eventual return journey from space.

The parachute system plays a vital role in slowing down the crew module during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and enabling a safe landing. These IADTs will provide valuable data on the system’s performance under real-world conditions.

The success of Gaganyaan will be a landmark achievement for India’s space program, placing the nation among the elite few countries with human spaceflight capabilities.