Tag: ISRO

India Launches RLV Technology Demonstrator

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RLV-TD lifts off (Credit: ISRO0

RLV-TD lifts off (Credit: ISRO0

BANGALORE (ISRO PR) — Today, May 23, 2016 ISRO successfully flight tested India’s first winged body aerospace vehicle operating in hypersonic flight regime.

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ISRO Establishes Rocket Nozzle Testing Facility

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ISRO_logoBANGALORE, India (ISRO PR) — Performance improvement in propulsion systems is essential towards achieving cost effective launch vehicles. Apart from propellant energetics, the nozzle plays a vital role in improving propulsion system performance. Therefore by improving performance of existing nozzles and by developing new nozzle concepts, which can operate at both low and high altitude regimes, it is possible to obtain significant gains in the delivered specific impulse of rockets. With these objectives, ISRO has established Nozzle Testing Laboratories (NTL) at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.

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COMSTAC Recommends Against Lifting Ban on Commercial ICBM Use

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A Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifts off from at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Credit: NASA/Chris Perry)

A Minotaur V rocket carrying NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifts off from at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Credit: NASA/Chris Perry)

The FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) voted last week to recommend that the U.S. government maintain its ban on the use of excess ICBM motors for launching commercial satellites. The recommendation to the FAA is a non-binding one.

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FAA Backs Ban on U.S. Satellite Launches on Indian Rockets

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PSLV rocket lifts off with India's Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

PSLV rocket lifts off with India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

Space News reports on disagreements within the U.S. government about whether to allow American companies to launch satellites aboard Indian rockets.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) endorsed an advisory committee’s recommendation that commercial U.S. satellites continue to be barred from using the PSLV.

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CE 20 Engine of GSLV MKIII Successfully Hot Fired

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CE 20 engine hot fire (Credit: ISRO)

CE 20 engine hot fire (Credit: ISRO)

MAHENDRAGIRI, India (ISRO PR) — ISRO has crossed a major milestone in the development of CE-20 engine for the GSLV MKIII vehicle by the successful hot test for 640 seconds duration on 19.02.2016 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri.

The chairman of ISRO has witnessed the hot test. The test has demonstrated the repeatability of the engine performance with all its sub systems like thrust chamber, gas generator, turbo pumps and control components for the full duration. All the engine parameters were closely matching with the pre test prediction.

Russia Led in Launch Successes and Failures in 2015

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Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Russia continued its dominance of the global satellite launch industry in 2015, conducting 29 of 86 orbital launches over the past 12 months. It also maintained its lead in botched launches, suffering two failures and one partial failure.

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PlanetiQ to Launch on India’s PSLV Rocket

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Credit: PlanetiQ

Credit: PlanetiQ

BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 3, 2015 (PlanetiQ PR) — PlanetiQ has signed a contract with Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), for the launch of PlanetiQ’s first two weather satellites on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the fourth quarter of 2016. Ten more satellites are planned for launch in 2017 to complete an initial set of 12 satellites that will dramatically improve global weather forecasting, climate monitoring and space weather prediction, and enable advanced analytics for numerous industries worldwide.

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U.S. Trade Representative Reviewing Indian Access to Launch Market

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PSLV rocket lifts off with India's Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

PSLV rocket lifts off with India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is reviewing a 10-year old policy that has largely kept U.S.-built satellites from being launched aboard Indian launch vehicles.

Last week, USTR official Samuel duPont made a presentation about the review to a working group of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Growing demand by American satellite makers for commercial launch services is the reason behind the review.

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India Makes It Two in a Row with Successful GSLV Launch

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GSLV Mk.II rocket lifts off with GSAT-6 satellite. (Credit: ISRO)

GSLV Mk.II rocket lifts off with GSAT-6 satellite. (Credit: ISRO)

Another success for the Indian space program. On Thursday, ISRO successfully launched the GSAT-6 communications satellite into orbit aboard a GSLV Mk. II rocket.

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ISRO Successfully Tests GSLV-Mk.III Cryogenic Engine

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GSLV Mk.III cryogenic engine test. (Credit: ISRO)

GSLV Mk.III cryogenic engine test. (Credit: ISRO)

BANGALORE, India (ISRO PR) — India’s first indigenously designed and developed High Thrust cryogenic rocket engine generating a nominal thrust of 19 tonnes was successfully endurance hot tested for a duration of 800 seconds on July 16, 2015 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri. This duration is approximately 25% more than the engine burn duration in flight. The engine will be used for powering the Cryogenic stage (C25), the upper stage of the next generation GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle of ISRO, capable of launching four tonne class satellites.

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ISRO Looks to Private Sector

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PSLV rocket lifts off with India's Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

PSLV rocket lifts off with India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

India’s space agency is looking to hand off more duties to the private sector:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to magnify the role of its industry partners by starting joint ventures with them and readying them to do entire tasks like satellite launches, its Chairman AS Kiran Kumar has said.

The agency has sounded out its commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, to explore such opportunities for specific projects. Internal teams are being formed to draft a plan, he told The Hindu in a recent interview.

For one, Antrix might form ventures with public or private entities that had already been supplying for the space programme. The extent of financing and equity would be decided later. “We hope to have a clear picture in about a year. We have asked Antrix to identify industries and requirements and have initiated discussions internally,” said Mr. Kiran Kumar, who is also Secretary of the Department of Space.

One reason is the backlog of communication satellites that urgently need indigenous GSLV launchers to put them in space. In mid-May, the government sanctioned 15 smaller PSLV launchers, worth Rs. 3,090 crore, which would be built during 2017-20. The ISRO now plans to do two GSLV launches, one commercial and two to three PSLV launches in a year, all requiring intensive engagement with the industry.

ISRO Names 3 New Centre Directors

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isroBANGALORE (ISRO PR) — Three major centres of ISRO will have new Directors from June 01, 2015.

Dr K Sivan, Distinguished Scientist and currently Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram, will take over as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), also at Thiruvananthapuram. He will take over as Director, VSSC from Mr M Chandradathan, who will superannuate by end May 2015.

Mr S Somanath, Outstanding Scientist and currently Associate Director (Projects), VSSC, will assume the office of Director, LPSC. He will take over as Director, LPSC, from Dr K Sivan.

Mr P Kunhikrishnan, Deputy Director (Mechanisms and Vehicle Integration), VSSC will take over as Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. He will take over as Director, SDSC SHAR from Dr M Y S Prasad, who will superannuate by end May 2015.

ISRO Conducts Successful Cyrogenic Engine Test

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BANGALORE (ISRO PR) — A major milestone in the development of ISRO’s next generation launch vehicle, GSLV MkIII, was achieved on successful long duration hot test (635 seconds) of high thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) on 28-04-2015 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The CE20 cryogenic engine is being indigenously developed by ISRO to power the cryogenic stage of GSLV MkIII launch vehicle.

The completion of successful long duration hot test has once again proved ISRO’s capability in mastering the complex cryogenic technology. All subsystems of this engine such as Thrust Chamber, Injector, Gas Generator, LOX & LH2 Turbopumps, Control Components, Pyro systems etc., and the ground Test Facility systems performed very well and the parameters are well within the prediction.

A series of development tests on this engine are being carried out to validate the performance and to prove the design of the engine. Two cold start tests and four short duration hot tests were already carried out on this engine at IPRC, Mahendragiri.

Annadurai Takes Over as Director of ISRO Satellite Centre

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M. Annadurai

M. Annadurai

BANGALORE (ISRO PR) — Dr M Annadurai, Outstanding Scientist and Programme Director, Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) and Small Satellite Systems (SSS) of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, has assumed the office of Director, ISAC on April 01, 2015.  He took over as Director, ISAC from Dr S K Shivakumar, who superannuated on March 31, 2015.

Born on July 2, 1958, Dr Annadurai graduated in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, obtained his Post Graduate degree in Applied Electronics from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore and   Doctoral degree from Anna University, Coimbatore.

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ISRO Hypersonic RLV Test Set

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Artist's conception of Indian reusable vehicles (Credit: ISRO)

Artist’s conception of Indian reusable vehicles (Credit: ISRO)

ISRO is planning a flight test in its Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration Program (RLV-TD) in the April to June time frame.

“Technology Demonstrator winged body vehicle weighing 1.5T will be lofted to a height of 70 km using solid booster, thus attaining five times the speed of sound. Thereafter, it will descend by gliding and splashing down into the sea”, said an official statement.

This test flight would demonstrate the Hypersonic aerodynamics characteristics, Avionics system, Thermal protection system, Control system and Mission management.

“Development of Reusable Launch Vehicles is a technical challenge and it involves development of many cutting edge technologies. The magnitude of cost reduction depends on development and realization of fully reusable launch vehicle and its degree of reusability”, said the statement.

ISRO describes the program on its website as follows:

Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstration Program or RLV-TD is a series of technology demonstration missions that have been considered as a first step towards realizing a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable vehicle. A Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured to act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies, namely, hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing propulsion.

These technologies will be developed in phases through a series of experimental flights. The first in the series of experimental flights is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX) followed by the landing experiment (LEX), return flight experiment (REX) and scramjet propulsion experiment (SPEX). Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator Hypersonic Experiment (RLV-TD HEX1) wherein the hypersonic aero-thermo dynamic characterization of winged re-entry body along with autonomous mission management to land at a specified location and characterization of hot structures are planned to be demonstrated.