ISRO Current Affairs

ISRO successfully conducts ground test of high thrust version of Vikas Engine

ISRO has successfully conducted ground test of its high thrust version of Vikas Engine at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu for duration of 195 seconds. The tests meet all its propulsion parameters and were found satisfactory and closely matched the predictions.

Vikas Engine

Vikas belongs to family of liquid fuelled rocket engines conceptualized and designed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in the 1970s. The design was based on licensed version of Viking engine with chemical pressurisation system. It is the workhorse liquid rocket engine powering second stage of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), second stage and four strap on stages of Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and is part of first stage i.e. twin engine core liquid stage (L110) of GSLV Mk-III. The propellant loading for Vikas engine in PSLV, GSLV Mark I and II is 40 tons, while in GSLV Mark III it is 55 tons. The recently tested high thrust version of Vikas engine will improve payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mk-III launch vehicles.

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ISRO conducts first test of crew escape module for India’s manned mision to space

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted test of Crew Escape System that provides escape mechanism for astronauts if the launch operation is aborted. The crew escape system is being developed as part of the he proposed human spaceflight programme. It was first pad abort test critical for future human space mission that demonstrated safe recovery of crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad. The test lasted little more than three minutes and involved aborting space capsule at launch to save astronaut.

Background

India at present does not have human space flight programme. Only three countries United States of America (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 (spacecraft of former USSR) in 1984.

ISRO is preparing report to be submitted to government for approval for human space flight programme. Critical technology developments and demonstration for indigenous human space flight capability are in progress. The crew module systems, space suit, recovery systems, crew escape systems and elements of environmental control and life support systems already have developed by ISRO.

ISRO already has designed phased programme in place to execute such mission. Once it gets government approval, it will be ready to demonstrate and execute human space flight within short time frame. If the programme approved, it could take less than 10 years for ISRO to take human to space once.

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