ISRO Achieves New Heights: Successful Hot Tests for Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System

Introduction

In a significant development, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has made remarkable progress in the Gaganyaan mission preparations. The organization recently conducted two successful hot tests on the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System (SMPS) at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri on July 26, 2023. This achievement highlights ISRO’s commitment to advancing its space exploration capabilities.

SMPS: A Critical Component

The Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System (SMPS) holds a pivotal role in the success of the mission. This system, designed and developed by the esteemed Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC), located in Bangalore and Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram, is essential for ensuring precise propulsion and maneuvering during the mission.

Series of Hot Tests

Continuing Progress: Second and Third Hot Tests

ISRO’s recent accomplishments encompass the successful completion of the second and third hot tests within the Service Module – System Demonstration model (SM-SDM) phase 2 test series. These tests build upon the foundation laid by the first hot test, which was carried out on July 19, 2023.

Methodical Approach: Test Execution

The hot tests involved operating the thrusters in both continuous and pulse modes, aligning with the mission profile. This meticulous testing approach is crucial for validating the performance and reliability of the propulsion system under various operational conditions.

Key Outcomes of Hot Tests

Validation of Operations: Initial Hot Test

The initial hot test, spanning an impressive duration of 723.6 seconds, served multiple purposes. It demonstrated the successful injection of the Orbital Module and executed a calibration burn of the 100 N thrusters and Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engines. The calibration burn was a critical step in identifying any non-operational engines and ensuring the readiness of the propulsion system.

Achieving Precise Orbit: Latter Hot Test

The subsequent hot test, conducted over a span of 350 seconds, showcased the precision of the propulsion system. This test focused on achieving the circularization of the Orbital Module, effectively placing it in the intended final orbit. During this test, the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) engines operated continuously, while the RCS Thrusters employed a pulse mode for maneuvering.

Looking Forward

Upcoming Tests: Further Validation and Refinement

As ISRO continues its rigorous testing regimen, the organization has scheduled three additional hot tests. These forthcoming tests will address de-boosting requirements and simulate off-nominal mission scenarios. By doing so, ISRO aims to comprehensively validate and refine the performance of the propulsion system, ensuring its optimal readiness for the impending Gaganyaan mission.

Conclusion

ISRO’s recent achievement in successfully conducting hot tests for the Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System underscores the organization’s dedication to precision, innovation, and excellence in the field of space exploration. This milestone brings India one step closer to realizing its aspirations in the realm of space, highlighting ISRO’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and capability.

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