Elon Musk congratulates ISRO on 3rd test of Vikas Engine for Gaganyaan
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation for successfully conducting the third long-duration hot test of the Vikas Engine, as part of the Gaganyaan programme. His one-word tweet also has an Indian flag. The engine was fired for a duration of 240 seconds at the ISRO facility in Tamil Nadu's Mahendragiri. "The performance of the engine met the test objectives and the engine parameters were closely matching with the predictions during the entire duration of the test," ISRO said.
This was the final testing of one of the three stages of the launch vehicle which will be used in the mission to carry humans to Space.
Gaganyaan is ISRO's major project of sending humans to space, to a low earth orbit, onboard an Indian vehicle. The first unmanned mission is planned for December 2021 and the second one is scheduled in 2022-23.
Four Indian Air Force, including a Group Captain and three Wing Commanders, selected for this mission, have already completed their one-year training court in Russia's Zvyozdny Gorodok city that ended in March this year. Two flight surgeons are also undergoing training in Russia and France, reports said.
The much-anticipated space programme of ISRO was formally announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2018. The initial target was to launch human spaceflight before the 75th anniversary of India's independence on August 15, 2022. ISRO's heavy-lift launcher GSLV Mk III has been identified for the mission.
On Sunday, Richard Branson became the first billionaire to travel to the edge of space onboard his Virgin Galactic's first fully crewed test flight, leaving Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX) behind. Reports said Elon Musk had bought a ticket for Galactic in 2006 when the advertised price of a ticket was $250,000.
Elon Musk's SpaceX, according to reports, is planning to partner with local companies to manufacture satellite communications equipment in India. Space X is also planning to launch its high-speed Starlink satellite broadband services in India this year.