Today, Friday, 13th May, at about 7.20 am, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully completed the static test of a human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota.

The human-rated solid rocket named, the Gaganyaan programme marks a crucial milestone for the prestigious human space flight mission of ISRO, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its full duration performance.

The successful test of a large human-rated solid rocket booster for the Gaganyaan programme makes India join the United States of America, Russia, and China to become the fourth country with its own Human Spaceflight mission. 

ISRO had created the first crucial booster segment of the motor case with a diameter of 3.2 meters, 8.5 meters in partnership with L&T, and had flagged it off on November 13, 2020, as its first step towards its unmanned space programme.

The newly tested HS200 rocket booster is a human-rated variant of ISRO’s Rs 10,000 crores space project’s well-proven S200 rocket booster for the GSLV-Mk3 satellite launch vehicle or the LVM3. Gaganayaan will be the Indian orbital spacecraft for ISRO’s Indian Human Spaceflight Programme (IHSP), which plans to deploy orbital spacecraft into low earth orbit in 2023.

The human-rated GSLV-Mk3, which will be known as the HRLV, is a significant milestone in the Gaganyaan mission. The performance of the first stage of the launch vehicle was tested by ISRO experts for a whole period of 135 seconds.

The HS200 booster, which is 20 meters long and weighs 203 tonnes of solid propellant, is the world’s second-largest operating launcher of its kind. Out of the three propulsion stages of the GSLV-Mk3, the human-rated version of L110-G loaded with liquid propellant is the second stage ahead of the final qualification, according to ISRO.

According to Union Minister Jitendra Singh, India’s first human space travel mission, ‘Gaganyaan,’ is slated to launch next year in 2023. The first crewed mission will consist of two unmanned launches, with the first set to launch in the second half of 2022 and the second set to launch at the end of the same year.

The Gaganyaan programme, India’s most prestigious scientific endeavor, is steadily working toward its ultimate objective of sending an Indian to space and safely returning him. Upon the success of these flights, India will become the fourth country to launch a human spaceflight mission. 

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