INDIA: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch the UK-based communication company, OneWeb’s next batch of 36 satellites. The satellites are set for a January 2023 launch. The recent testing of the crucial cryogenic engine of its rocket LVM3 was conducted in the lead-up to the landmark launch.
According to ISRO, the successful flight acceptance hot test of the CE-20 engine was carried out for 25 seconds at the High-Altitude Test Facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri.
ISRO gears up for another launch of 36 OneWeb satellites
ISRO revealed that the CE-20 engine had been chosen for the upcoming LVM3-M3 mission, which will launch the second set of 36 satellites of OneWeb India-1 satellites. The LVM3 vehicle’s cryogenic upper stage also called as C25 stage, will be powered by the CE-20 engine.
The engine will work with the propellant’s combination of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The engine is believed to develop a nominal thrust of 186.36 kilo Newton (kN) in a vacuum.
The flight acceptance test, carried out on October 28, 2022, successfully fulfilled the major objectives set for the hot test. The integrity of the hardware was confirmed, and the subsystems’ performance was assessed while the engine was tuned to meet the mission requirement parameters during flight operation.
The analysis of test data confirmed that the engine system’s performance was satisfactory. The CE-20 engine will be assembled to the C25 flight stage, which will be integrated into the LVM3 M3 rocket.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Chairman of OneWeb, said that NSIL, the commercial wing of ISRO, had signed a contract with OneWeb to launch 72 satellites across two phases for a fee of over ₹1,000 Crores.
The first batch of 36 OneWeb satellites was successfully launched and put into orbit by ISO on October 23, 2022.
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