The first ‘pad abort’ test critical for a future human space mission was conducted successfully on Thursday morning, the Indian Space Research Organisation has announced. The test was conducted at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
“The Pad Abort Test demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” the space agency said.
Describing it as a major technology demonstrator the space agency said the PAT (pad abort test) is the first in a series of tests to qualify a crew escape system technology of a manned mission in the future.
The Crew Escape System is an emergency escape measure to quickly pull the crew module — the astronaut cabin — along with astronauts out to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort.
ISRO Chairman K.Sivan said the teams also tried out at least five new secondary technologies related to satellite communication, navigation and telemetry during the test. A few more trials related to the safety of astronauts would be taken up later.
The countdown began at 2 a.m., five hours ahead of the test. At 7 a.m., the Crew Escape System with a simulated 12.6-tonne crew module lifted off from its pad.
It was propelled on its own seven specially made complex in-built rockets. In the next four-odd minutes, it reached a height of 2.7 km and curved down into the Bay of Bengal on parachutes. It landed in sea at a distance of 2.9 km from the launch centre.
Three recovery boats were sent out to retrieve the module.
The rockets are solid-fuel powered and specially designed for quickly ejecting the crew module and astronauts to a safe distance without exceeding the safe G-levels, an ISRO statement said.
Nearly 300 sensors recorded various functional aspects of the mission during the test flight.
source : hindu news