New Delhi – India successfully conducted the first of a series of test flights on Saturday, after overcoming a technical glitch, as part of its mission to transport astronauts into space by 2025, according to the Indian Space Agency.
The head of the Indian Space Research Organization, S. Somanath said the test involved launching a module into space and returning it to Earth to test the vehicle’s crew escape system. The vehicle was recovered after landing in the Bay of Bengal.
The launch was delayed for 45 minutes in the morning due to weather conditions. The new attempt was again postponed for more than an hour due to an engine problem, and the ground computer suspended the unit’s takeoff, Somanath said.
Somanath told reporters that the problem caused by a monitoring glitch in the system was corrected and the test was conducted successfully after 75 minutes from the Sriharikota satellite launch station in southern India.
This would 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 landing near the moon’s south pole.
After a failed attempt to land on the moon in 2019, India in September joined the United States, Russia and China to become the fourth country to achieve this feat.
The successful mission highlighted India’s growing status as a technology and space power and aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire to project the image of a rising nation that asserts its place among elites around the world.
Mr Modi announced earlier this week that the Indian space agency will set up an Indian space station by 2035 and send an Indian astronaut to the moon by 2040.
Since the 1960s, India has launched satellites for itself and other countries, successfully putting one into orbit around Mars in 2014. India is planning its first mission to the International Space Station next year in cooperation with the United States.
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