SRE-2 mission 6 years behind schedule

Six years of delay in executing a planned mission to carry out micro-gravity experiments is one of the reasons why India cannot send an astronaut to space on its own in the near future, though the Indian Space Research Organisation successfully tested the GSLV Mk-III rocket on Thursday.

Approved in November 2005 at a cost of Rs 30 crore, the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-2 was to be conducted by August 2008. Six years later, no date has been fixed for the SRE-2 launch, which is to test some of the critical technologies required for the human space flight. The space capsule was to be in space for 30 days during which micro-gravity experiments were to be conducted. Afterwards it was to return to the earth and crash in the sea, from where it was to be recovered.

The delay is due to the non-availability of carbon-carbon thermal protection system in the space capsule’s nose cap.

The flight units have not been assembled and the testing of the integrated electronic package – proposed to be done one year before the scheduled flight – did not commence in March 2014, the Comptroller and Auditor General noted in a report.

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