Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) took the first, small but significant step towards realising human space flight by successfully conducting a test of the Crew Escape System that provides an escape mechanism for astronauts if the launch operation is aborted.
Explaining the importance, K Sivan Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, ‘This is one of the critical technologies for a future human space programme. When you are flying with the humans, if there is something wrong during the launch, this will help them escape to a safe place. Isro always does research and development activity and develops technologies keeping future needs in mind. Critical technology developments and demonstration for indigenous human space flight capability is in progress’
Only three countries — USA, Russia and China — have human space flight programmes.
The only Indian citizen to ever travel to space was fighter pilot Rakesh Sharma who flew aboard Soyuz T-11, a spacecraft of the former USSR in 1984.