ISRO tests liquid engine for Gaganyaan mission to check engine function

ISRO tests liquid engine for Gaganyaan mission to check engine function

India News

The Indian space agency on Thursday successfully conducted a 25-second qualification test for its liquid propellant-based Vikas engine to be used under the Gaganyaan mission.

The test, which was conducted at the Indian Space Research Organisation((ISRO) Propulsion Complex in Mahendragri, Tamil Nadu, was done to see how the engine performed in conditions that were not optimal, such as change in the fuel-oxidiser ratio or pressure in the fuel chamber. “ 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 in a release.

Three more tests will be conducted, totalling a duration of 75 seconds, to test the engine under varying conditions. Then, a long-duration test for 240 seconds will be conducted to qualify the engine for carrying humans to space.

Two Vikas engines have already been tested for 240 seconds each under optimal operating conditions. This is one of the three engines that the space agency will have to qualify to finally make the entire launch vehicle human rated.

The space agency conducted a qualification test for 720 seconds of its cryogenic upper stage earlier this month. The engine will undergo four more tests totalling a duration of 1,810 seconds and another engine will under-go two short duration and one long-duration test before the cryogenic stage is qualified for Gaganyaan mission.

This is especially important after the failure of the GSLV F10 mission in August last year, when the cryogenic engine did not ignite due to a small drop in pressure in the fuel tank, even though the cryogenic engine for the GSLV MkIII is different.

The first stage of the launch vehicle, which used solid propellant, is already qualified for the mission, according to experts. ISRO is targeting the launch of at least one of the two planned uncrewed mission before this Independence Day, while the crewed mission is planned for next year.

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