Upgrading of Aerospace Technology, ISRO’S Successful Experimental Missions (Download PDF)


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The 41st flight of PSLV (PSLV-C39) that took place on August 31, 2017 with Indian Regional Navigational Satellite (IRNSS-1H weighing 1425 kg) could not reach the designated orbit, is considered as a failure.

Image of Upgrading of Aerospace Technology

Image of Upgrading of Aerospace Technology

Image of Upgrading of Aerospace Technology

  • To prevent such occurrences, Department of Atomic Energy and Space undertakes Research & Development activities, technology developments, and experimental missions towards technological upgradation to improve performance of the launch vehicles, satellites, and ground systems.

Reason for The Failure

  • Failure was due to non-separation of payload fairing (also known as heat shield) during the 2nd stage of the flight.

  • The root cause was understood after analyzing the flight and ground test data.

  • For the Payload Fairing separation to happen successfully, the horizontal and vertical jettisoning system needs to function correctly

  • The horizontal jettisoning system functioned normally, there was malfunctioning of the vertical jettisoning system, due to which the Payload Fairing did not separate.

  • The cause for the malfunctioning was the non-initiation of detonation in the vertical jettisoning system.

Recent Successful Experimental Missions

  • Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator in May 2016

  • The first experimental flight of a sub-scale Scramjet engine in August 2016, towards reducing the cost of access to space.

  • Technology development and upgradation in the propulsion systems to increase the payload capability of the space transportation systems such as

  • The development of a Semicryogenic engine

  • High thrust liquid engines

  • Cryogenic stages with increased propellant loading

  • Development of high thrust electric propulsion systems towards an all-electric communication satellites to replace the relatively heavier chemical propulsion system

R & D and Testing in Department of Space and ISRO

  • 20 % of the total allocation of Department of Space is deployed for R&D activities.

  • “The Space Economy at a Glance 2014”, a report, published by OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development) puts India at sixth position among the space faring nations, in terms of space budget as percentage of GDP.

  • Products developed by the Department Atomic Energy and Space undergo design reviews, qualification tests, and acceptance tests before being inducted into systems.

  • ISRO has a well-defined Quality Assurance mechanism that certifies products induction into space missions.

  • The procedures for quality assurance and quality control are well documented.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 7, 2018

Science/Technology, Space/ISRO

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