Indian Space Program: News & Discussions

STEPHEN COHEN

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
6,894
4,273
Read about a startup company who do just that. It corrects the orbital trajectory of those satellites that have no fuel left to automatically correct it

Then why cannot ISRO do the same

If they managed to separate the Satellite
From the Launch vehicle , they should come out with a Press Release
 

Gautam

Moderator
Feb 16, 2019
12,693
9,887
Tripura, NE, India
Some thoughts about the Gaganyaan mission & the GSLV Mk-3 launcher.

In early 2019, ISRO calls a tender for Augmentation of the Second Launch Pad (ASLP). ASLP was for readying the launch pad for handling thrust form the SCE200 engine. The work was supposed to be completed with in 15months. Given the usual delays with tendering, selection etc. assume it takes 2 years. So from early-2019 to mid-2021. Even with COVID-19 related delays, the ASLP should be nearing completion.
Screenshot (621).png

Oh and going by recent satellite pics, it seems work at the IPRC, Mahendragiri test stand is complete. Although some civil work at the control stations & viewer's gallery still remains underway.

Now its no secret that ISRO has been building new engines & stages to augment the payload capacity of the GSLV Mk-3/LMV-3. The augmentation will happen by replacing the hypergolic core stage L110 with the semi-cryo Kerolox stage SC120 & replacing the C-25 cryo stage with the C32 cryo stage. This slide below form sometime back says that the Augmented LMV-3/GSLV Mk-3 & Human Rated version of the LMV-3 has been approved. Obviously the timelines from this slides cannot be met.

Here is the ambiguity. The human rated rocket may or may not be the augmented GSLV Mk-3/LMV3. The rocket as it is today can lift 10 tons to LEO at 600km. The fully loaded Gaganyaan would weigh 7.8-8.2 tons & it would be put in 400km LEO orbit. So the current GSLV Mk-3 can be used for the mission.

Given the toxicity of hypergolic fuels it would be strange to have a "human rated" GSLV Mk-3 launcher with hypergolic core. But the possibility of this could not be ruled out. The Russians are a more established space power than us yet they still do human launches on the hypergolic Proton rockets. Despite the risks there is no guarantee we wont do the same, especially given the project's deadlines. Eventually ISRO confirmed the Gaganyaan will use the hypergolic core launcher.
1629627689724.png

That's where the slide below comes in. It was showcased a week ago on Independence day. This is ISRO's plan for GTO payload growth of the GSLV Mk-3.

The schedule as per flight number :

D1: GSAT-19 (June 2017)
D2: GSAT 29 (November 2018)
M1: Chandrayaan-2 (July 2019)
M2: Gaganyaan-1 (June 2022)
M3: Chandrayaan-3 (Q3 2022)
M4: Gaganyaan-2 (Q4 2022-23)
M5: GSAT-20 (2022-23)
M6: Gaganyaan-3 (2023)

The M4 flight will get the SC-120 stage. The M4 will be the 2nd orbital test of the Gaganyaan crew & service module & the M6 will be the 1st crewed mission. So the 2nd unmanned orbital test, when human safety is not a concern, will see the semi-cryo engine but the crewed mission will still use the toxic hypergolic fueled core ?!?!?! Doesn't make any sense.

Maybe if ISRO can safely fly the semi-cryo stage on M4 flight they will consider that for the M6 too.
1629627795679.png

The dates shown above are tentative. Until the pandemic arrived, we had one GSLV Mk-3 launch in every 6-8 months. The last launch was on July 2019, the next one will be almost 3 years later on June 2022. If production line ran at full capacity in 3 years we would have 4.5 launchers ready. We know ISRO was shut during the peak of 1st & 2nd waves, but ISRO's supplier companies were still open. GSLV Mk-3 gets most its parts from pvt. companies.

S200 comes from L&T
CE-20 engine & C-25 stage from HAL
Vikas engine from Godrej

We probably wont have 4 GSLV Mk-3 launches in 2022. But 2-3 launches seem reasonable given the 3 year gap. ISRO wants to further increase rate of production.
1629627887166.png

Whatever the case, the SC120 stage will have its 1st flight in late-2022 or early-2023. Which means the SCE-200 has from Q3 2021 to early 2022 for its testing to complete. Once the engine is tested stage testing can begin. There isn't a lot of time left. Which is why the SCE-200 not doing a test firing soon would be very disturbing.

Preparation for manufacturing of the new stages are moving ahead quite well. In 2019 IPRC, Mahendragiri called for a tender for supply of trailers to transport the new C-32 & SC-120 stages. The trailers will be pulled by an AMW 4018 truck. The trailers will be used to move tanks to various places within the Mahendragiri facility & then to move the completed stages to the assembly buildings.
ISRO SCE-200 tank trailer_page-0001.jpg

1629628113365.png

1629628126843.png

By 2020, HAL had already started producing & supplying the new tanks for the C32 stage :


HAL will also produce/supply the tanks for the SC120 stage. Not sure if they have started supplying the same yet. The large single engined tank on the right side of the slide below is probably the SC120 stage.
1629627909889.png

Dimensions of the various stages. As mentioned above, SC120 will replace the L110 & C32 will replace C25. The diameters are all the same. But there will be a increase in length of the GSLV Mk-3. The changes will take the height of the GSLV MK-3 to ~45.9 m from the current 43.4 m.
1629628142257.png

The GSLV Mk3 will evolve to become the HLV-E3 which will be a member of the upcoming Modular Launch Vehicle (MLV) family. The solid boosters will go from S200 to S250, 50ton increase in propellant loading. The core will be the single engined SC-200 stage that has been seen in a million other presentations. The upper stage will go from C32 to C34.
1629627849722.png


So to summarize my long rant, SC engine test stand & launch pad augmentation is almost complete. CE-32 stage is almost ready, SC-120 tanks are probably ready. We still may do the Gaganyaan crew mission on the hypergolic core launcher. When will the SCE-200 engine do its test fire ?
 

Nilgiri

Senior member
Dec 4, 2017
597
1,435
Some thoughts about the Gaganyaan mission & the GSLV Mk-3 launcher.

In early 2019, ISRO calls a tender for Augmentation of the Second Launch Pad (ASLP). ASLP was for readying the launch pad for handling thrust form the SCE200 engine. The work was supposed to be completed with in 15months. Given the usual delays with tendering, selection etc. assume it takes 2 years. So from early-2019 to mid-2021. Even with COVID-19 related delays, the ASLP should be nearing completion.
View attachment 20633
Oh and going by recent satellite pics, it seems work at the IPRC, Mahendragiri test stand is complete. Although some civil work at the control stations & viewer's gallery still remains underway.

Now its no secret that ISRO has been building new engines & stages to augment the payload capacity of the GSLV Mk-3/LMV-3. The augmentation will happen by replacing the hypergolic core stage L110 with the semi-cryo Kerolox stage SC120 & replacing the C-25 cryo stage with the C32 cryo stage. This slide below form sometime back says that the Augmented LMV-3/GSLV Mk-3 & Human Rated version of the LMV-3 has been approved. Obviously the timelines from this slides cannot be met.

Here is the ambiguity. The human rated rocket may or may not be the augmented GSLV Mk-3/LMV3. The rocket as it is today can lift 10 tons to LEO at 600km. The fully loaded Gaganyaan would weigh 7.8-8.2 tons & it would be put in 400km LEO orbit. So the current GSLV Mk-3 can be used for the mission.

Given the toxicity of hypergolic fuels it would be strange to have a "human rated" GSLV Mk-3 launcher with hypergolic core. But the possibility of this could not be ruled out. The Russians are a more established space power than us yet they still do human launches on the hypergolic Proton rockets. Despite the risks there is no guarantee we wont do the same, especially given the project's deadlines. Eventually ISRO confirmed the Gaganyaan will use the hypergolic core launcher.
View attachment 20624
That's where the slide below comes in. It was showcased a week ago on Independence day. This is ISRO's plan for GTO payload growth of the GSLV Mk-3.

The schedule as per flight number :

D1: GSAT-19 (June 2017)
D2: GSAT 29 (November 2018)
M1: Chandrayaan-2 (July 2019)
M2: Gaganyaan-1 (June 2022)
M3: Chandrayaan-3 (Q3 2022)
M4: Gaganyaan-2 (Q4 2022-23)
M5: GSAT-20 (2022-23)
M6: Gaganyaan-3 (2023)

The M4 flight will get the SC-120 stage. The M4 will be the 2nd orbital test of the Gaganyaan crew & service module & the M6 will be the 1st crewed mission. So the 2nd unmanned orbital test, when human safety is not a concern, will see the semi-cryo engine but the crewed mission will still use the toxic hypergolic fueled core ?!?!?! Doesn't make any sense.

Maybe if ISRO can safely fly the semi-cryo stage on M4 flight they will consider that for the M6 too.
View attachment 20625
The dates shown above are tentative. Until the pandemic arrived, we had one GSLV Mk-3 launch in every 6-8 months. The last launch was on July 2019, the next one will be almost 3 years later on June 2022. If production line ran at full capacity in 3 years we would have 4.5 launchers ready. We know ISRO was shut during the peak of 1st & 2nd waves, but ISRO's supplier companies were still open. GSLV Mk-3 gets most its parts from pvt. companies.

S200 comes from L&T
CE-20 engine & C-25 stage from HAL
Vikas engine from Godrej

We probably wont have 4 GSLV Mk-3 launches in 2022. But 2-3 launches seem reasonable given the 3 year gap. ISRO wants to further increase rate of production.
View attachment 20627
Whatever the case, the SC120 stage will have its 1st flight in late-2022 or early-2023. Which means the SCE-200 has from Q3 2021 to early 2022 for its testing to complete. Once the engine is tested stage testing can begin. There isn't a lot of time left. Which is why the SCE-200 not doing a test firing soon would be very disturbing.

Preparation for manufacturing of the new stages are moving ahead quite well. In 2019 IPRC, Mahendragiri called for a tender for supply of trailers to transport the new C-32 & SC-120 stages. The trailers will be pulled by an AMW 4018 truck. The trailers will be used to move tanks to various places within the Mahendragiri facility & then to move the completed stages to the assembly buildings.
View attachment 20632
View attachment 20629
View attachment 20630
By 2020, HAL had already started producing & supplying the new tanks for the C32 stage :


HAL will also produce/supply the tanks for the SC120 stage. Not sure if they have started supplying the same yet. The large single engined tank on the right side of the slide below is probably the SC120 stage.
View attachment 20628
Dimensions of the various stages. As mentioned above, SC120 will replace the L110 & C32 will replace C25. The diameters are all the same. But there will be a increase in length of the GSLV Mk-3. The changes will take the height of the GSLV MK-3 to ~45.9 m from the current 43.4 m.
View attachment 20631
The GSLV Mk3 will evolve to become the HLV-E3 which will be a member of the upcoming Modular Launch Vehicle (MLV) family. The solid boosters will go from S200 to S250, 50ton increase in propellant loading. The core will be the single engined SC-200 stage that has been seen in a million other presentations. The upper stage will go from C32 to C34.
View attachment 20626

So to summarize my long rant, SC engine test stand & launch pad augmentation is almost complete. CE-32 stage is almost ready, SC-120 tanks are probably ready. We still may do the Gaganyaan crew mission on the hypergolic core launcher. When will the SCE-200 engine do its test fire ?

ISRO needs to do a full vetting procedure for CE-7.5 given the recent failure of it (is it tied to having it sit around in a delay etc or something deeper)....especially if this applies to CE-20/CE-32 as well.

We cannot afford to build more upon it if something is shaky in a foundation somewhere.
 

Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Tripura, NE, India

Indian scientists discover 3 supermassive blackholes merging together

27 Aug 2021, 11:33 AM IST
1630061619695.png

Supermassive black holes are difficult to detect because they do not emit any light

Indian scientists have discovered three black holes from three galaxies merging to form a triple active galactic nucleus on Friday. It's a compact region at the center of a newly discovered galaxy that has a much-higher-than-normal luminosity.

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) detected unusual emissions from the centre of NGC7734 galaxy and a large, bright clump along the northern arm of NGC7733 galaxy.

Reserchers Jyoti Yadav, Mousumi Das, and Sudhanshu Barway along with Francoise Combes of College de France, Chaire Galaxies et Cosmologie, Paris detected this unusual phenomenon.

The researchers used data from the Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), the European integral field optical telescope called MUSE in Chile and infrared images from the optical telescope (IRSF) in South Africa.

According to Ministry of Science and Technology, supermassive black holes are difficult to detect because they do not emit any light. But they can reveal their presence by interacting with their surroundings.

"When the dust and gas from the surroundings fall onto a supermassive black hole, some of the mass is swallowed by the black hole, but some of it is converted into energy and emitted as electromagnetic radiation that makes the black hole appear very luminous," the Ministry of Science added.

They are called active galactic nuclei (AGN) and release huge amounts of ionized particles and energy into the galaxy and its environment. Both of these ultimately contribute to the growth of the medium around the galaxy and ultimately the evolution of the galaxy itself, it added.

According to the researchers, a major factor impacting galaxy evolution is galaxy interactions.

The IIA team explains that if two galaxies collide, their black hole will also come closer by transferring the kinetic energy to the surrounding gas.
The distance between the blackholes decreases with time until the separation is around a parsec (3.26 light-years).

The two black holes are then unable to lose any further kinetic energy to get even closer and merge. This is known as the final parsec problem. The presence of a third black hole can solve this problem. The dual merging blackholes can transfer their energy to the third blackhole and merge.

Many active galactic nuclei pairs have been detected in the past, but triple AGN are extremely rare, and only a handful has been detected before using X-ray observations, Indian Institute of Astrophysics researchers added.

Indian scientists discover 3 supermassive blackholes merging together
 
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Gautam

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Feb 16, 2019
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Brilliant, just f**king brilliant !:mad:

DoT’s faulty spectrum allocation to Jio affecting data quality of world’s largest telescope: Report


The GMRT which is built and operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), functions in the 100MHz to 1500MHz frequency range. It enjoys special protection around a 900MHz spectrum for carrying out astronomy-related activities.

ET Telecom
August 27, 2021, 16:36 IST
1630120071269.png


Allocation of spectrum in the restricted frequency bands (800MHz to 900MHz) to Reliance Jio by the Department of Telecommunications has caused “severe deterioration” in the data produced by the world’s largest telescope, the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) operating at meter wavelengths, according to an Indian Express report. The interference is also hampering scientific research activities.

A project under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the GMRT is built and operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA). It functions in the 100MHz to 1500MHz frequency range and enjoys special protection around a 900MHz spectrum for carrying out astronomy-related activities.

Scientists involved in the research at the facility told the publication that the telecom department’s “unchecked spectrum allocation” to Jio is coinciding with the GMRT’s operations which is posing difficulties for the Indian as well as the global scientific community from more than 30 countries.

“Though Reliance was operating in the region even earlier, significant signal interference was noticed only in 2016-2017. That was when NCRA first contacted and informed RJIL about the matter in 2017,” a leading scientist from NCRA informed the publication.

NCRA officials also said the strong interference generated by Jio in the region has permanently damaged large datasets. They have also been forced to abandon certain observations using the uGMRT due to signal disturbances.

Three years ago in 2018, NCRA was reportedly assured by the telecom department that the ministry would arrive at a positive conclusion. However, the issue allegedly hasn’t been resolved yet.

NCRA scientists caution that the ministry’s “inaction and delay” in reallocating spectrum to the telecom market leader has now begun to hamper uGMRT’s data quality “beyond repair”.

In 2018, the telescope received a major upgrade of upto 10 Teraflops in its computational capability and the ability to transfer data at 40GB per second. Now it is known as the ‘uGMRT’.

The GMRT itself operates for upto ten months a year and remains shut for maintenance for the remaining time.

It consists of an array of 30 parabolic dishes, each of which is 45 meters in diameter, and are arranged in a ‘Y’ pattern. It is located 80km from Pune, off the Pune-Nashik highway.

The GMRT’s highly sensitive specialized receivers installed on each of its 30 antennas can capture extremely faint signals but even a slight interference can cause signal loss.

DoT’s faulty spectrum allocation to Jio affecting data quality of world’s largest telescope: Report - ET Telecom
 

Parthu

Gessler
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Dec 1, 2017
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ISRO needs to do a full vetting procedure for CE-7.5 given the recent failure of it (is it tied to having it sit around in a delay etc or something deeper)....especially if this applies to CE-20/CE-32 as well.

We cannot afford to build more upon it if something is shaky in a foundation somewhere.

I'm concerned because this engine is supposed to put the $1.5 billion NISAR into orbit (probably most expensive earth-imaging satellite). A failure there can reflect very poorly on the agency.

But personally, I don't think there is any shaky foundation. We've have 6 consecutive successful launches of the Mk-2 and that cannot be a fluke...personally I'm leaning toward human error and/or sabotage. Will have to wait for investigation to know for sure though (and provided they publicize the findings).
 

Gautam

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ISRO soon to carry out static test of solid fuel engine for small rocket

The SSLV is being designed to have a carrying capacity of about 500kg targeting the small satellite launch market.

Updated: Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 05:55 pm
IANS
1630608345826.png


The Indian space agency is gearing up to test the solid fuel motor of its small rocket under development, said a senior official.

The official also said the space agency is planning to fly the small rocket -- Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) -- before the end of this year itself with an Indian earth observation satellite.

The SSLV is being designed to have a carrying capacity of about 500kg targeting the small satellite launch market. As a matter of fact, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting orders from foreign parties to launch small satellites.

The first static test of SSLV's solid fuel motor was unsuccessful as there were some issues with the engine's nozzle. An official had earlier told IANS that the second test will be with the engine that was kept for the rocket. A new first stage engine for the rocket has to be built.

The other two stages/engines for the proposed SSLV have been tested earlier, an ISRO official had told IANS.


The 34 metre tall with a lift off mass of 120 ton, the SSLV is a three staged/engine rocket all powered by solid fuel.

Currently the Indian space agency loads the small satellites as piggyback luggage to its bigger satellite launched with its rocket -- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

ISRO soon to carry out static test of solid fuel engine for small rocket
 

Gautam

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ISRO’s new series of heavy-lift rockets to carry between 5-16 tonnes to GTO

Written By: Sidharth MP
WION, CHENNAI
Published: Sep 14, 2021, 09:51 PM(IST)
1631770562950.png

GTO is an intermediary orbit(180km at its closest point to earth and 36,000km at its farthest point from earth) in which rockets place heavy satellites. Photograph: WION.

Story highlights
Speaking at a virtual event organised by ISRO and CII, N Sudheer Kumar, Director, Capacity Building Programme Office, ISRO, revealed that variants of this new fleet of heavy-lift rockets would be able to place a payload weighing anywhere between 4.9 tonnes and over 16 tonnes in the tonne synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

To attain total self-reliance in the launch of heavy satellites (weighing above 4 tonnes) and to meet future demands, the Indian Space Research Organization is working on a fleet of five new rockets. According to a senior official, the five Heavy-lift Launch Vehicles (HLV) are in their project report stage.

In terms of design and appearance, this new fleet of rockets would be quite similar to the existing SSLV, PSLV and GSLV and GSLV Mk3 rockets, but they would be powered by even more capable, powerful and technologically advanced engines. Presently, India pays and utilises the services of Ariane-5, a foreign rocket, to launch satellites that weigh over 4 tonnes.

Speaking at a virtual event organised by ISRO and CII, N Sudheer Kumar, Director, Capacity Building Programme Office, ISRO, revealed that variants of this new fleet of heavy-lift rockets would be able to place a payload weighing anywhere between 4.9 tonnes and over 16 tonnes in the tonne synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). This is an enormous improvement over the current maximum lift capability of 4 tons that the GSLV Mk3 rocket has performed to GTO.

GTO is an intermediary orbit (180km at its closest point to the Earth and 36,000km at its farthest point from the Earth) into which heavy satellites are launched by rockets. After being placed in GTO, the satellites use their onboard propulsion to reach a circular orbit 36,000 km above the earth (it is at the same distance from the earth at any given point of time). Being in the 36,000km circular orbit (also known as Geostationary or GSO orbit) allows for communication and monitoring of a large portion of the Earth. three satellites in GSO orbit are capable of covering nearly the entire globe.

According to Kumar, the work to upgrade the lift capability of GSLV Mk3 to 7.5 tonnes to GTO, is on the verge of being concluded. This major upgrade to India’s rocket is being made possible owing to the development of two kinds of rocket engines: a semi-cryogenic engine that burns a special variant of kerosene (dubbed ISROsene) and liquid oxygen; and a cryogenic engine that burns a mixture of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The said semi-cryogenic engine stage is dubbed as the SC120, and the upgraded cryogenic engine stage is dubbed as the C32. As per ISRO’s naming convention for rocket stages, the letter (s) refers to the type of engine fuel-Solid (S), Liquid (L), Semi-cryogenic (SC) and Cryogenic (C) and the accompanying number refers to the mass (in tonnes) of propellant carried. Simply put, a rocket is a combination of multiple engines (stages) that are vertically stacked.

"Soon the stage will be inducted into the rocket, then we will not depend on foreign sources for the launch of heavy communication satellites (weighing over 4 or 5 tonnes)," Kumar said. Regarding ISRO’s ongoing projects, he outlined that work was underway on the full-scale model of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), besides work to scale up the proto-model of the air-breathing engine. For ISRO, these are crucial technologies to master to develop a fully reusable space vehicle dubbed the "TSTO," or Two Stage to Orbit.

The Director of ISRO’s CBPO also shared the configuration of the fleet of five heavy-lift rockets that were in their project report stage. The configurations refer to new and more powerful rocket stages-SC400 semi-cryogenic stage, the C27 cryogenic stage, and S250 solid rocket booster. Simply put, depending on the type of mission, payload to be lifted and rocket required, different variants of engines would be stacked vertically to run a relay race to space. Each stage would detach from the rocket after propelling the rocket to a certain altitude and speed, then the next engine would take over. This process goes on until the satellite (payload) reaches its final orbital destination.

In terms of materials, ISRO is said to be working on developing carbon-carbon composites, ceramic matrix composite for reusable vehicles, metal-foams for crash landing interplanetary probes, besides crucial components such as solar panels, fibre optics Atomic clocks, deployable antennas, lithium-ion batteries, Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) Devices.

ISRO’s new series of heavy-lift rockets to carry between 5-16 tonnes to GTO
 
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