GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved an important milestone in the Gaganyaan project by successfully test-firing the Low Altitude Escape Motor of the Crew Escape System (CES), from Sriharikota. CES takes away the Crew module in case of eventuality and rescues the astronauts. Low Altitude Escape Motor (LEM) is a distinctive special purpose solid rocket motor with four reverse flow nozzles and generates a maximum sea level thrust of 842 kN (nominal) with a burn time of 5.98 s (nominal).

Main objective of the LEM Static Test are:

  1. To evaluate motor ballistic parameters
  2. To validate motor subsystem performance and to confirm the design margins.
  3. To evaluate the thermal performance of nozzle liners; especially to confirm the erosion / ablative characteristics
  4. To validate the integrity of all interfaces
  5. To evaluate the head-end mounted safe arm (HMSA) based ignition system performance.
  6. To evaluate side thrust due to misalignment and variation in flow and other functional parameters including flow reversal.

What is ISRO's Gaganyaan programme?

  1. The Gaganyaan Programme envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the short term.
  2. The programme will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run.
  3. The objective of the Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the indigenous capability to undertake human space flight missions to LEO.
  4. As part of this programme, two unmanned missions and one manned mission are approved by the Government of India (GoI).