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India’s Gaganyaan Test Flight Lifts Off

Indian Space Research Organisation on Saturday launched the first test flight for its Gaganyaan (skycraft) mission after putting it on hold due to an anomaly.

“Mission Gaganyaan TV D1 Test Flight is accomplished. Crew Escape System performed as intended,” reads a brief statement put out by the space agency after some delays.

The launch was carried out at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The uncrewed flight test with a single-stage liquid propulsion rocket, equipped with a Crew Module and Crew Escape System, was earlier scheduled to lift off at 8:00 a.m. (local time) on Saturday. Then it was rescheduled twice and finally put on hold until 10:00 a.m. (local time) so that the reason for the launch hold could be identified and corrected.

The test vehicle mission is the predecessor to the Gaganyaan project, which 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 the earth.