India conducts space flight test before putting astronauts into orbit in 2025

2023-10-21 06:52:02

NEW DELHI (AP) — India successfully carried out the first in a series of key test flights on Saturday after overcoming a technical glitch ahead of its mission to take astronauts into space in 2025, according to the space agency.

The latest test involved launching a module into outer space and returning it to Earth to test the spacecraft’s crew escape system, Indian Space Research Agency chief S. Somanath said, and was being recovered after landing in the Bay of Bengal.

In the morning, the launch was delayed 45 minutes due to weather conditions. It was then delayed more than an hour due to an engine problem, and the ground computer put the module’s launch on hold, Somanath added.

The problem, caused by a control anomaly in the system, was rectified and the test was successfully carried out 75 minutes later from the Sriharikota satellite launch site in southern India, Somanath told reporters.

This will pave the way for other unmanned missions, including sending a robot into space next year.

In September, India successfully launched its first space mission to study the sun, less than two weeks after a successful unmanned lunar landing near the south polar region of the Moon.

After a failed attempt to land on the satellite in 2019, India joined the United States, the Soviet Union and China as the fourth country to do so.

The success of the mission highlighted India’s consolidation as a technological and space power and fits with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire to project the image of a rising country that is achieving its position among the global elite.

In a sign of his future space ambitions, Modi announced earlier this week that the Indian space agency will set up a homegrown space station by 2035 and that an Indian astronaut will reach the moon in 2040.

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