The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) carried out a major technology demonstration on Thursday, the first in a series of tests critical to manned space missions.
The Crew Escape System test, conducted from Sriharikota as part of ISRO's future missions, pertains to an emergency measure designed to quickly take the crew module, with astronauts on board, to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort.
After a countdown of five hours, the Crew Escape System, along with a simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonnes, lifted off at 07.00 AM (IST) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the Crew Escape System soared skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota.
The crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick-acting solid motors to take the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safety levels. Nearly 300 sensors recorded various performance parameters. Three recovery boats are used to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.