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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is poised for a critical milestone in its ambitious Gaganyaan human spaceflight program – the integrated airdrop test of the crew module. As reported by ISRO chairman S Somanath, the test is scheduled for launch from Sriharikota on April 24. This crucial experiment aims to validate the functionality of the crew module and its critical components, particularly the parachute system, ensuring a safe return for future astronauts.

This upcoming test marks the second major milestone following the successful TV-D1 mission conducted last year on October 21st. The TV-D1 mission focused on demonstrating the spacecraft’s Crew Escape System’s abort capabilities.

The Gaganyaan crew module will be put through its paces during the airdrop test, simulating various scenarios encountered during an actual mission, specifically the re-entry and landing phases. An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter will carry the module to a predetermined altitude before releasing it for its descent. This controlled drop will allow ISRO to gather vital data on the module’s performance under the influence of gravity and atmospheric conditions that mimic those experienced during a real re-entry and landing.

The successful completion of this airdrop test will be a significant step forward for the Gaganyaan program. The data gathered will be instrumental in refining the design and ensuring the crew module’s safe operation for future Indian human spaceflight endeavors.