The Gaganyaan Mission, a significant venture by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), aims to demonstrate India’s human spaceflight capabilities by launching a crew of three members to a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission, with a safe return landing in Indian sea waters.


Significance of the Gaganyaan Mission:

Optimal Strategy:

  • The project optimally utilizes in-house expertise, Indian industry experience, intellectual capacities of academia, and cutting-edge technologies from international agencies.
  • Collaboration with various entities ensures a comprehensive approach towards achieving the mission’s objectives.

Critical Technologies:

  • Development of critical technologies, including a human-rated launch vehicle, Life Support System, crew emergency escape provision, and crew management aspects, is essential.
  • These advancements contribute to India’s capability in space exploration and establish a foundation for future endeavors.

Role of Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC):

  • The Human Space Flight Centre coordinates ISRO’s Gaganyaan program, focusing on activities across different ISRO centers.
  • The program demonstrates India’s immediate goal of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and paves the way for a sustained human space exploration program.

Objectives of Gaganyaan Program:

  • Demonstrating indigenous capability for human spaceflight missions to LEO is a primary goal.
  • Tangible and intangible benefits include technological advancements, global participation in space station construction, and significant scientific research.

Benefits and Opportunities:

  • Job creation and human resource development in advanced scientific and R&D activities.
  • Inspiring and engaging Indian youth in science and technology careers.
  • Fostering international alliances and leveraging the project for foreign policy objectives.

Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1):

Crew Escape System Demonstration:

  • TV-D1 tests the Crew Escape System, a crucial safety mechanism allowing the crew to leave the spacecraft in emergencies.
  • The mission demonstrated the basic version of the crew module and its separation from the rocket during a mid-flight emergency.

Technical Details:

  • The rocket reached an altitude of nearly 17 km before triggering an abort signal, leading to the separation of the crew module.
  • The crew module’s descent, controlled by a parachute, culminated in a splashdown in the Bay of Bengal.

Functionality Check:

  • The test validated systems for separating the crew module during an abort mission and ensuring the safe escape of astronauts.
  • Fundamental components of the crew module were tested in this exercise.


The TV-D1 mission is a crucial step in testing the safety mechanisms of the Gaganyaan project.

While a full-fledged crew module test in orbit is scheduled for 2024, the TV-D1 mission serves as a cost-effective and essential precursor, utilizing existing liquid propulsion technology with innovative features like the throttleable and restartable L110 Vikas engine.

This approach ensures a thorough system test and emphasizes ISRO’s commitment to advancing space exploration capabilities in a sustainable and strategic manner.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish December 6, 2023