Skyroot Aerospace, India’s leading private aerospace company, has successfully fired the Dhawan-II, an advanced fully 3D printed cryogenic engine. The engine fired for 200 seconds, demonstrating the agility of the 3D printed structure that will power the company’s Vikram-II rocket.
Skyroot’s indigenously developed mobile cryogenic engine test pad was used in the test, which took place at Solar Industries’ propulsion test facility in Nagpur.
Skyroot Aerospace test fires 3D Printed Cryogenic Engine
Dhawan-II is a 3.5 Kilo Newton (kN) engine named after Dr. Satish Dhawan, India’s top rocket scientist. The newly tested engine is a successor to the fully cryogenic rocket engine Dhawan-I, which has a thrust of 1.0 kN.
The cryogenic rocket engine uses two high-performance rocket fuels, LNG and LoX, which require cryogenic temperatures (below -150° Celsius) for storage and operation. LNG contains more than 90% methane, and LoX is a clean-burning, environmentally friendly fuel.
According to the company, fully cryogenic engines are ideal for rocket upper stages due to their higher specific impulse, which greatly improves payload-carrying capabilities.
“The successful test of Dhawan-II is a landmark achievement for Skyroot and the Indian private space sector. We are proud to be at the forefront in developing cutting-edge cryogenic technologies in the private space sector of India, and pushing the limit with advanced technologies like 3D printing and green propellants,”– Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-founder and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace
V. Gnanagandhi, Skyroot’s director of liquid and cryogenic propulsion, noted that the 3D-printed Dhawan – II engine also includes a 3D-printed torch igniter and a bellow-actuated cryo-injection valve with a fast response time.
Skyroot conducted the first launch of a privately developed rocket several months ago. The Vikram-S rocket was successfully launched from the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre’s sounding rocket complex in Sriharikota.
The rocket reached a maximum altitude of 89.9 kilometres and reached a speed of Mach 5, which is five times the speed of sound. All mission parameters were met by the launch vehicles, paving the way for the company to launch the Vikram-I rocket this year.
Vikram-I will be South Asia’s first private orbital rocket launch.
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