BENGALURU: Isro has been making quiet progress on the readiness for India’s first human spaceflight mission - Gaganyaan - with several hurdles relating to launch vehicle, orbital module (that will carry the crew and service modules), crew escape system, environmental control life support system (ECLSS) having been overcome. Work on modifications of the spaceport too has progressed.
The successful static test of the human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) earlier this month is one of the milestones for Isro in this direction and the agency is now in the process of preparing for key tests of other engines/stages of the GSLV-Mk3, which, once human-rated and ready for Gaganyaan, will be called human-rated launch vehicle (HRLV).
According to Isro: “Hardware realisation of the L110 stage and the C25 stage (cryo) for the first uncrewed mission (G1) mission is nearing completion, propellant tankages, interstage structure have been realised and delivered to IPRC (propulsion complex). For C25, the thrust frame realisation is in an advanced stage.”
With the review for service module (SM) fairing completed, Isro is now realising systems for the same. It has also completed the review for orbital module (OM) adaptor and procurement is in an advanced stage.
Also, while stating that work on the HRLV avionics and OM is progressing well, Isro said: “...Configuration of IVHM (integrated vehicle health management) systems, including HRLV and OM has been worked out. Systems requirements document for launch vehicle health management has been prepared for software design activities.”
CES & ECLSS
On activities relating to the critical crew escape system (CES), Isro said, realisation of CES motors - it consists of five different kinds - is in progress and the first batch of motor hardware for all have been delivered. “...The first high altitude pitch motor (HPM ST-01) was successfully static tested on July 20, 2021 at TERLS (Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station); the performance was normal. And, the first low altitude pitch motor (LPM ST-01) was successfully static tested on December 29, 2021. The performance was normal,” Isro said, adding that processing of hardware for static tests of two other motors is in progress,” it added.
For ECLSS, which is critical for astronaut health during the flight, time in space and return, Isro has completed review and realisation of mock-up hardware and demonstration, end-to-end performance assessment and design validation of non-condensing network of THCS (temperature and humidity control subsystem).
“...Review of the cabin pressure control system (CPCS) is complete and the circuit has been finalised. Configuration of cabin ventilation unit (CVU) for establishing contact with the atmosphere post touchdown is complete, while configuration of air revitalisation system (ARS) has been finalised. ARS chemicals like LiOH (lithium hydroxide), activated carbon and potassium superoxide have been procured and lab-level tests carried out at VSSC,” Isro added.
While accommodation and routine of ECLSS components is complete for the SM, it is ongoing in the crew module (CM).
Spaceport + Other Infra
At the second vehicle assembly building (SVAB) of the spaceport in Sriharikota, Isro has completed platform travel range changes to accommodate orbital module activities and drawings for the clean tent specifications have been finalised.
“...Crew access arm fabrication is complete and on the first launchpad, the mobile launch pedestal (MLP) modifications are being carried out. Pad abort test ground fixture has been fabricated and modification of existing service tower is complete at the sounding rocket complex,” Isro added.
Aside from these, civil construction work is in progress for the OM preparation facility (OMPF) and Gaganyaan control facility (GCF).