ISRO Successfully Concludes Vital Engine Test for Gaganyaan Mission

ISRO Successfully Completes Engine Test for Gaganyaan Qualification and 22-tonne Thrust

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved a major milestone with the successful completion of the CE20 E13 engine hot test for the Gaganyaan qualification and 22-tonne thrust qualification. This important engine test took place at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri on September 22.

The CE20 engine plays a vital role as the powerhouse of the Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), responsible for propelling the upper stage (C25) of the LVM3 vehicle. It has already demonstrated its capabilities by operating at a thrust level of 19 tonnes in six successive LVM3 missions, including the Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3, and two commercial OneWeb missions.

To enhance the payload capacity of the LVM3 vehicle, ISRO is upgrading the CE20 engine. The upper cryogenic stage is undergoing a transformation into the C32 stage, which will have an increased propellant loading capacity. Additionally, the engine is being modified to operate at a higher thrust level of 22 tonnes. In order to ensure the engine’s readiness for critical missions, a series of ground hot tests were deemed necessary. The CE20 engine hardware, referred to as E13, was selected for both Gaganyaan qualification and 22-tonne thrust level operations.

The journey towards achieving a 22-tonne thrust capability began with the E13 HT-01 test, which focused on engine tuning and was successfully conducted for a duration of 50 seconds. This initial test laid the foundation for the upcoming trials. The E13 HT-02 test, conducted on August 3, was a significant milestone, with the engine operating flawlessly for an impressive 720 seconds. This test highlighted the engine’s reliability and stability.

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“The third hot test, E13 HT-03, was a pivotal moment in completing the CE20 engine qualification for the Gaganyaan program. On September 22, this test was conducted at the state-of-the-art test facility located at IPRC, Mahendragiri. During this test, the CE20 engine operated at the coveted 22-tonne thrust level for a duration of 670 seconds. Both the engine and the testing facility performed flawlessly, meeting all the performance parameters,” stated ISRO.

The successful completion of the E13 HT-03 test signifies the culmination of rigorous testing and confirms the readiness of the CE20 engine for the Gaganyaan program. With all the necessary tests completed, the CE20 engine is now prepared to meet the demanding requirements of the Gaganyaan mission and future endeavors.

The Test Vehicle D-1/Crew Escape System mission of the Gaganyaan mission is expected to take place in the last week of October.

Overall, ISRO’s success in completing the CE20 E13 engine hot test represents a significant step forward in India’s ambitious space exploration goals. With the upgraded CE20 engine, ISRO will be better equipped to enhance payload capacity and propel the Gaganyaan mission to new heights. These advancements not only showcase India’s technological prowess but also pave the way for more innovative and impactful space missions in the future.

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