The Indian Space Research Organization has conducted tests simulating the clustered deployment of parachutes as part of preparations for the Gaganyaan human space flight mission.
ISRO carried out the ‘Rail Track Rocket Sled’ deployment tests of the Gaganyaan Pilot and Apex Cover Separation (ACS) parachutes in cluster configurations at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), Chandigarh.
The first test simulated the clustered deployment of two pilot parachutes — one parachute was subjected to a minimum angle with respect to flow conditions and the second to a maximum angle with respect to flow, the national space agency headquartered here said.
“These pilot parachutes are used by the Gaganyaan mission to extract and deploy the main parachutes independently,” an ISRO statement said.
The second test simulated the clustered deployment of two ACS parachutes under maximum dynamic pressure conditions.
The test also simulated cluster deployment at a 90-degree angle of attack conditions for the crew module. The ACS parachutes are used in the Gaganyaan mission for the separation of the apex cover mounted on the Crew Module.
Both pilot and ACS parachutes were deployed using a pyrotechnic mortar device, ISRO said, adding that the tests were conducted on March 1 and 3.
The Gaganyaan parachute system development has been a joint effort by Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, and Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra, the statement said.
The Gaganyaan project envisages a demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to Earth, by landing in Indian waters, according to ISRO.
In December last, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh had told Parliament that the country’s maiden human space flight mission is targeted for launch in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Singh had said the unmanned G1 mission is targeted to be launched in the last quarter of 2023 followed by the second unmanned G2 mission in the second quarter of 2024, before the final human space flight H1 mission in the fourth quarter of 2024.