PM Modi at ISRO office
Image Source : PTI/FILE PM Modi at ISRO office

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day tour of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra from Tuesday, visited Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram. He is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 24,000 crore in three states. He will also inaugurate three important space infrastructure projects worth about Rs 1,800 crore and review the progress of ‘Gaganyaan’, India’s human spaceflight mission.

According to media reports, the PM will reveal the names of the four Indian astronauts selected to go to space as part of the Gaganyaan mission.

The three projects include ‘PSLV integration facility’ at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, ‘semi-cryogenics integrated engine and stage test facility’ at ISRO propulsion complex in Mahendragiri, and ‘Trisonic wind tunnel’ at VSSC.

He will also launch India’s first indigenous green hydrogen fuel cell inland waterway vessel and address thousands of MSME entrepreneurs working in the automotive sector in Madurai as well, the statement said.

The PSLV integration facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre will help in boosting the frequency of PSLV launches from six to 15 per year.

This state-of-the-art facility can also cater to the launches of SSLV and other small launch vehicles designed by private space companies, it said.

Cryogenic engine for Gaganyaan missions now human-rated, says ISRO

Recenlty, ISRO accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan human spaceflight missions, with the completion of the final round of ground qualification tests.

“ISRO’s CE20 cryogenic engine is now human-rated for Gaganyaan missions,” the space agency said on ‘X” on Wednesday.

Rigorous testing demonstrates the engine’s mettle, it said, adding the CE20 engine identified for the first uncrewed flight LVM3 G1 also went through acceptance tests.

The February 13 final test was the seventh of a series of vacuum ignition tests carried out at the High Altitude Test Facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, to simulate flight conditions, it said.

The ground qualification tests for the human rating of the CE20 engine involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions with respect to thrust, mixture ratio and propellant tank pressure, it said.

All the ground qualification tests of the CE20 engine for the Gaganyaan programme have been successfully completed, ISRO said.

In order to qualify the CE20 engine for human rating standards, four engines have undergone 39 hot firing tests under different operating conditions for a cumulative duration of 8,810 seconds against the minimum human rating qualification standard requirement of 6,350 seconds, according to ISRO.

This engine will power the upper stage of the human-rated LVM3 vehicle and has a thrust capability of 19 to 22 tonnes with a specific impulse of 442.5 seconds, it was noted.

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