ISRO successfully completes key engine test of its heaviest rocket

The hot flight acceptance test of the CE-20 engine was successfully carried out at the ISRO Propulsion Complex High Altitude Test Facility (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu for a duration of 25 seconds.

The engine is for the LVM3-M3 mission identified for the launch of the next 36 OneWeb India-1 satellites, the Indian Space Research Organization said.

Sources said these satellites of OneWeb, the London-based satellite communications company, are expected to be launched by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, aboard LVM3 in January-February of the next year.

Friday’s flight acceptance test comes days after NSIL launched the first set of 36 OneWeb satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC-SHAR) in Sriharikota on October 23.

“The cryogenic upper stage of the LVM3 vehicle (C25 stage) is powered by a CE-20 engine operating with the LOX-LH2 propellant combination. This engine develops a nominal thrust of 186.36 kN in a vacuum,” noted an ISRO press release on Saturday.

“The primary objectives of the Flight Acceptance Test were to confirm hardware integrity, evaluate subsystem performance, and tune the engine to meet mission requirements parameters for engine tuning for the in-flight operation,” he said.

Analysis of the test data confirmed the satisfactory performance of the engine systems, ISRO said, adding that this engine will be assembled in the C25 flight stage being integrated for the LVM3 M3 vehicle.

OneWeb had said that its partnership with NSIL and ISRO demonstrated its commitment to providing connectivity across the length and breadth of India by 2023.

From Ladakh to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, OneWeb will bring secure solutions not only to businesses but also to cities, towns, municipalities and schools, including the hardest-to-reach areas across the country, a- he declared.

“OneWeb’s commitment to improving connectivity in India is backed by Bharti Global, its largest investor,” the company said.

NSIL Chief Executive Officer Radhakrishnan D said, “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with OneWeb and utilizing the potential of LEO connectivity to deliver broadband services across India. Last Sunday’s launch marked the rocket’s entry into the global commercial launch services market, according to the Bengaluru-based national space agency.

NSIL, a central public sector undertaking under the Department of Space, had previously signed two launch service contracts with Network Access Associated Limited (OneWeb) for the launch of a total of 72 OneWeb LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites. aboard ISRO’s LVM3.

LVM3, ISRO’s heaviest rocket, is capable of launching a class of four-tonne satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

LVM3 (Launch Vehicle Mark 3) is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor straps, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage.

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