In its first, Indian Space Research Organisation on Thursday successfully carried out a flight test for a newly-designed Crew Escape System, meant for saving lives of astronauts in an exigency.
“The system is an emergency measure designed to quickly pull away the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle if the mission gets aborted. The first ‘Pad Abort Test’ demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad,” Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement.
The space agency said the five-hour countdown was smooth.
The Crew Escape System along with the simulated crew module lifted off at 7.00 AM from its pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota on Thursday.
“The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the Escape System and the module soared skyward, before arching out over the Bay of Bengal and floating back to earth using its parachutes, about 2.9 km from Sriharikota,” the statement added.
The ISRO said the crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick-acting solid motors to take it away to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels.
Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight, ISRO said, adding three recovery boats are being readied to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.
(With inputs from agencies)