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Mission Gaganyaan: ISRO's CE20 cryogenic engine now human-rated

The qualification tests, involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests, and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions.
Last Updated 21 February 2024, 06:43 IST

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has completed the final round of ground qualification tests on its CE20 cryogenic engine to achieve the engine’s human rating for the Gaganyaan programme.

The CE20 engine powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for ISRO’s human spaceflight programme, Gaganyaan. ISRO completed the tests on February 13 – the final test was the seventh of a series of vacuum ignition tests, carried out at the high altitude test facility at the ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu, to simulate the flight conditions.

Ground qualification tests for the engine’s human rating involved life demonstration tests, endurance tests, and performance assessment under nominal operating conditions as well as off-nominal conditions with respect to thrust, mixture ratio, and propellant tank pressure. All ground qualification tests of the CE20 engine for the Gaganyaan programme have been successfully completed, ISRO said on Wednesday.

“To qualify the CE20 engine for human rating standards, four engines have undergone 39 hot firing tests under different operating conditions for a cumulative duration of 8,810 seconds against the minimum human rating qualification standard requirement of 6,350 seconds,” ISRO said.

The space agency has also successfully completed acceptance tests of the flight engine identified for the first unmanned Gaganyaan (G1) mission which is tentatively scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. This engine will power the upper stage of the human-rated LVM3 vehicle; it has a thrust capability of 19 to 22 tonnes with a specific impulse of 442.5 seconds.

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(Published 21 February 2024, 06:43 IST)

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