Dhawan-1: Skyroot test-fires India’s first privately built cryogenic rocket engine

Skyroot Aerospace test-fired India’s first privately built cryogenic rocket engine called Dhawan-1.

Key Points

  • Skyroot Aerospace demonstrated the upper stage of its Vikram-2 launch vehicle.
  • The cryogenic rocket engine is 100 per cent 3D printed and 100 percent made in India.
  • It has been named after Satish Dhawan, who was the third chairman of ISRO. He pioneered the development of advanced launch capabilities of India.

The Vikram Rocket

  • Vikram Rocket has been named after pioneering Vikram Sarabhai, who kickstarted the ambitious space program in India. He also conducted advanced nuclear research.
  • The rocket uses a combination of Liquid Natural Gas, which is more than 90 per cent methane. Liquid Natural Gas is used in combination with Liquid Oxygen. In Combined form, it is called as “Methalox”, which form a cryogenic rocket fuel.
  • The combination provides for high performance and is having low cost. The fuel is environmentally friendly. Thus, leading this fuel is dubbed as “Fuel of the future” by the Skyroot Aerospace engineers.

Dhawan-1 engine

Dhawan-1 engine comprises of a vacuum thrust of about 1.5kN. Engine was tested on a specially constructed testbed at Solar Industries in Nagpur.  The engine is the upper stage of Vikram-2 launch vehicle. It uses environment friendly combinations called LNG and LOX. It is entirely 3D printed. Engine has been named in honour of Satish Dhawan.

Pixxel 1 satellite

Pixxel 1 satellite will be launched in 2022. It will be the first private satellite in an Earth Observation constellation in low Earth orbit.

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