HomeIndian Space ResearchSkyroot Aerospace conducts test firing of Vikram 1 rocket stage at ISRO...

Skyroot Aerospace conducts test firing of Vikram 1 rocket stage at ISRO facilities

Source : News9Live

Skyroot Aerospace conducts test firing of Vikram 1 rocket stage at ISRO facilities
Test firing of the Kalam 250. (Image Credit: Skyroot Aerospace).

New Delhi: Space start-up Skyroot on Thursday said it has test-fired the stage-2 of the Vikram-1 rocket, which is expected to place a satellite in orbit later this year.

The stage-2 of the Vikram-1 launch vehicle, called Kalam-250, is a high-strength carbon composite motor that will carry the rocket from the atmospheric phase to the deep vacuum of outer space, according to a statement issued by the company.

The test-firing of Kalam-250, which took place at the propulsion test bed at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, lasted for 85 seconds and recorded a peak sea-level thrust of 186 kilonewtons (kN), which will translate into a fully-expanded vacuum thrust of around 235 kN in flight.

“This is a significant milestone for the Indian space industry, marking the successful test of the largest propulsion system ever designed and manufactured by the Indian private sector, and the first carbon-composite-built motor tested at the ISRO,” Pawan Chandana, co-founder and CEO of Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace, said.

“All test parameters are within expected bounds and this achievement takes us another step closer to the upcoming orbital launch of the Vikram-1 rocket,” he added.

Kalam-250 is a high-strength carbon composite rocket motor, which uses solid fuel and a high-performance ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymers (EPDM) thermal protection system (TPS).

The stage-2 houses a carbon ablative flex nozzle, along with high-precision electro-mechanical actuators, for thrust vector control of the vehicle, which helps the rocket achieve the desired trajectory.

“In this landmark test, we validated the critical system for the launch — the flex nozzle control system — during firing for the first time, making this an important milestone in our journey,” Naga Bharath Daka, co-founder and COO of Skyroot, said.

“We have a few more milestones to cross and are focused on achieving them in the coming months to reach our maiden orbital launch of Vikram-1 in 2024,” he said.

The test also had an important contribution from another ISRO centre — the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) — which supplied its proprietary head-mounted safe arm (HMSA), used for the safe operation of the rocket stage, the space start-up said.

The solid propellant in Kalam-250 was processed by Solar Industries at their unique facility in Nagpur. Skyroot had previously tested Kalam-100, the third stage of Vikram-1, which was test-fired successfully in June 2021.

Skyroot became India’s first private company to launch a sub-orbital rocket when it test-fired Vikram-S in November 2022.

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