Human Rating and Gaganyaan Mission

Human Rating and Gaganyaan Mission

News: Recently, ISRO has successfully completed the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine, which represents a major boost to India’s attempt to launch humans into space under the Gaganyaan mission.

About the Gaganyaan Mission:
• India’s first human spaceflight program, aims to send astronauts into a low earth orbit.
• A critical aspect of this mission is the concept of ‘human rating’, which refers to the process of certifying a system capable of safely transporting humans.

Human Rating of CE20 Cryogenic Engine:
• ISRO has accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine, which powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan missions.
• In order to qualify the CE20 engine for human rating standards, four engines have undergone 39 hot firing tests under different operating conditions for a cumulative duration of 8,810 seconds against the minimum human rating qualification standard requirement of 6,350 seconds.
• The ground qualification tests for the human rating of the CE20 engine involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests, and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions with respect to thrust, mixture ratio, and propellant tank pressure.
• The final test was the seventh of a series of vacuum ignition tests carried out at the High Altitude Test Facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, to simulate flight conditions.

Importance of CE20 Cryogenic Engine:
• It aims to power the upper stage of the human-rated LVM3 vehicle and has a thrust capability of 19 to 22 tonnes with a specific impulse of 442.5 seconds.
• ISRO has successfully completed the acceptance tests of the flight engine identified for the first unmanned Gaganyaan (G1) mission, tentatively scheduled for Q2 of 2024.
• The successful human rating of the CE20 cryogenic engine and the L110-G Vikas engine marks a significant step towards the realisation of the Gaganyaan mission. These developments demonstrate ISRO’s commitment to ensuring the safety and success of India’s first human spaceflight program. 

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