ISRO tests liquid engine for Gaganyaan mission to verify engine operation

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

The test, which was carried out at the Indian Space Research Organization (Propulsion Complex (ISRO) in Mahendragri, Tamil Nadu, was carried out to see how the engine performed under conditions that were not optimal, such as a change in fuel-oxidizer ratio or pressure.”Engine performance met test objectives and engine parameters closely matched predictions throughout the duration of the test,” ISRO said in a statement.

Three more tests will be carried out, totaling a duration of 75 seconds, to test the engine under varying conditions. Next, a 240-second long-duration test will be conducted to qualify the engine to carry humans into space.

Two Vikas motors have already been tested for 240 seconds each under optimal operating conditions. It is one of the three engines that the space agency will have to qualify to finally make the whole launcher human.

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

This is especially important after the failed GSLV F10 mission last August, when the cryo engine failed to ignite due to a small pressure drop in the fuel tank, even though the GSLV MkIII cryo engine is different.

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

Comments are closed.