The first test for the Gaganyaan human space flight mission was called off just seconds before the scheduled launch. The Indian Space Research Organisation has not explained why the launch was held.
“Engine ignition has not happened in the nominal course due to an anomaly. We have to find out what went wrong. The vehicle is safe, and we will announce the reason after an investigation,” ISRO chief S Somanath said from the Mission Control Center.
Test Vehicle D1 mission was scheduled for a lift-off from the first launch pad at 8 a.m. which was revised to 8.45 am. But just 5 seconds before the launch, the countdown stopped. ISRO is expected to announce a new date for the test soon.
“What has happened is that the ground support computer doing this function has withheld the launch in view of the anomaly observed. We will come back after understanding the anomaly, correct it, and schedule the launch very soon,” the space agency’s Chairman said.
The test vehicle mission is the predecessor to the Gaganyaan programme which aims to send humans into space on a Low Earth Orbit of 400kms for three days and bring them safely back to the Earth.
The first test, which could not be conducted today, will look at the efficacy of the crew escape system, which can be used to eject astronauts in emergencies.
It will be followed by another test flight carrying a robot to outer space before the final manned mission takes place.
“Before the ultimate manned ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, there will be a test flight next year, which will carry Vyommitra, the female robot astronaut,” Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.