Lightweight Indian rocket innovation to launch in January


An innovative and light weight rocket that uses air-breathing propulsion to suck in oxygen from the air as a propellant fuel, will be launched in India in less than 3 months time, according to a senior Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official.

The test flight of the rocket, which inhales oxygen from the air to fire itself into space, will be conducted from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in January next year.

Almost 85% of the weight carried by standard rockets like the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is propellant, comprising of both fuel and super-cooled liquid oxygen. For this innovative new rocket however, using the oxygen available in the atmosphere to burn fuel will significantly reduce the weight on board as the rocket will not have to carry the cryogenic liquid oxygen.

The test will be conducted on a Rohini-series sounding rocket weighing only 125kg which ISRO uses for routine atmospheric studies, noted Byrana Nagappa Suresh, director of ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.

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