Human technology

ISRO successfully tested the S200 booster rocket for human use, with 700 normal parameters

On May 13, 2022, at 7:20 a.m. local time, ISRO successfully conducted a static test of a Human Capable Solid Rocket Booster (HS200) for the Gaganyaan Program at Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC), Sriharikota , Andhra Pradesh. The HS200 rocket booster is a human version of the proven S200 rocket booster used by the GSLV Mk III satellite launch vehicle, also known as LVM3.

Passing this test is a crucial milestone for ISRO’s renowned Gaganyaan manned spaceflight program, as the launcher’s first stage is tested for its performance over the entire duration. Shri S Somanath, Chairman, ISRO/Secretary, Space Department, and Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, VSSC, along with other ISRO scientists, were present at the ceremony. The design and development of the HS200 thruster was completed at Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram and the casting of the thruster was completed at SDSC, Sriharikota.

The S200 engine, which is the first stage of the LVM3 launch vehicle intended to launch a class of 4000 kg satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit, was configured as a strap rocket booster. Based on the successful launch pedigree of this launch vehicle, including the Chandrayaan mission, LVM3 has been identified as the launch vehicle for the Gaganyaan mission. For the manned space mission, the LVM3 launch vehicle has undergone improvements stipulated by the human evaluation requirements.

As a result, a host of design improvements aimed at increasing the safety and reliability of various systems have been implemented in the S200 booster like all other systems. These include additional safety features for the engine case gaskets and heavy-duty isolation and ignition systems. The control system used in this booster uses one of the most powerful electromechanical actuators in the world with multiple redundancies and safety functions. The system is entirely designed and developed locally by ISRO in collaboration with various industries spread across the country. Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, ISRO was able to complete the entire process of design, development, realization and testing in a short period of two years.

With the successful completion of this test, ISRO takes a step closer to the Gaganyaan program. Of the three propulsion stages of LVM3, the humanized versions of the so-called L110-G second stage with liquid propellant and the C25-G third stage with cryogenic propellant are in the final qualification phase, including static firing tests. The Gaganyaan program, India’s most prestigious scientific endeavor, is making steady progress towards its end goal of taking an Indian into space and returning him safely.

The HS200 thruster loaded with 203 tons of solid propellant was tested for a duration of 135 seconds. The 20m long and 3.2m diameter booster is the second operational solid propellant booster in the world. During this test, approximately 700 parameters were monitored and the performance of all systems was normal.

Summary of news:

  • ISRO successfully tested the S200 booster rocket for human use, with 700 normal parameters
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