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PM Modi reveals names of 4 Gaganyaan Mission astronauts at ISRO centre in Kerala

ISRO successfully completed the acceptance tests of the flight engine identified for the first unmanned Gaganyaan (G1) mission tentatively scheduled for the second quarter of 2024.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Thiruvananthapuram Updated on: February 27, 2024 13:54 IST
PM Modi with 4 Gaganyaan Mission astronauts
Image Source : PTI PM Modi with 4 Gaganyaan Mission astronauts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day tour of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra from Tuesday, visited Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram. He is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 24,000 crore in three states. PM Modi revealed the names of the four astronauts selected to go to space as part of the Gaganyaan mission - Group Captain P Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander S Shukla.

He inaugurated three important space infrastructure projects worth about Rs 1,800 crore and review the progress of 'Gaganyaan', India's human spaceflight mission.


PM Modi hails Gaganyaan Mission

Bestowing 'astronaut wings' to them, the PM said they are four forces that encompass the aspirations of 1.4 billion people of the country.

After four decades, an Indian was poised to venture into space and "this time around the countdown, the timing, and even the rocket would be ours", he said.

The PM further said he was proud and happy that most components used in the Gaganyaan human flight mission are made in India.

The PM also emphasised upon the "important role" played by women in the country's space programme and said those like Chandrayaan--the moon mission and Gaganyaan would not be possible without their contribution and participation.

PM Modi also said India's success in the space sector was not only sowing the seeds of scientific temperament in the country's young generation, but was also helping in it emerge as a dynamic global player in the 21st century by showcasing significant developmental strides across various sectors.

The three projects include 'PSLV integration facility' at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, 'semi-cryogenics integrated engine and stage test facility' at ISRO propulsion complex in Mahendragiri, and 'Trisonic wind tunnel' at VSSC.

He will also launch India's first indigenous green hydrogen fuel cell inland waterway vessel and address thousands of MSME entrepreneurs working in the automotive sector in Madurai as well, the statement said.

The PSLV integration facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre will help in boosting the frequency of PSLV launches from six to 15 per year.

This state-of-the-art facility can also cater to the launches of SSLV and other small launch vehicles designed by private space companies, it said.

Cryogenic engine for Gaganyaan missions now human-rated, says ISRO

Recenlty, ISRO accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan human spaceflight missions, with the completion of the final round of ground qualification tests.

"ISRO's CE20 cryogenic engine is now human-rated for Gaganyaan missions," the space agency said on 'X" on Wednesday.

Rigorous testing demonstrates the engine's mettle, it said, adding the CE20 engine identified for the first uncrewed flight LVM3 G1 also went through acceptance tests.

The February 13 final test was the seventh of a series of vacuum ignition tests carried out at the High Altitude Test Facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, to simulate flight conditions, it said.

The ground qualification tests for the human rating of the CE20 engine involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions with respect to thrust, mixture ratio and propellant tank pressure, it said.

All the ground qualification tests of the CE20 engine for the Gaganyaan programme have been successfully completed, ISRO said.

In order to qualify the CE20 engine for human rating standards, four engines have undergone 39 hot firing tests under different operating conditions for a cumulative duration of 8,810 seconds against the minimum human rating qualification standard requirement of 6,350 seconds, according to ISRO.

This engine will power the upper stage of the human-rated LVM3 vehicle and has a thrust capability of 19 to 22 tonnes with a specific impulse of 442.5 seconds, it was noted.

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