Chandrayaan-2 mission has Dharwad connection too

Chandrayaan-2 mission has Dharwad connection too

V Suresh Babu, head of Taiwac company, with the pressure guages assembled by the staff. (DH Photo)

There is a Dharwad connection to India’s most ambitious moon mission Chandrayaan-2 which was launched successfully from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Monday afternoon.

The pressure guage required for the rocket’s fuel tank for the launch of the GSLV-Mk III-M1 was manufactured at the Taiwac company based at Attikolla in Dharwad.

Seth Walchand Heerachand, founder of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which was previously known as Hindustan Aircraft Limited in 1940, is also the founder of Taiwac company which was started in 1962. A unit of Walchandnagar Industries located in Baramathi district of Maharashtra, the company is associated with Isro for the last 45 years.

The company has assembled pressure gauge required to measure pressure in the cylinder of the cryogenic engine of the GSLV Mk III, the rocket launcher carrying the Chandrayaan-2 mission to the moon.

The pressure guage provides exact readings and plays a crucial decision-making role in the rocket’s launch. The pressure guages are also used in light combat aircraft, Army ships, submarines, war tanks, fuel refinery, thermal and nuclear power units.

The company with its 178 staff members, is engaged in the assembling of 32 spare parts required for the pressure guage.

Quality inspectors and engineers of Isro and the Aeronautics wing visit Taiwac to certify the equipment.

The equipment is on the exteriors of the rocket and sealed. The company has supplied at least 20 pressure guages to Isro during the Chadrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 launches, explained V Suresh Babu, head of the company.

The external parts of the rocket were manufactured at the Walchandnagar unit, while a few spare parts were assembled at a foundry in Satara, he explained.

Moon’s surface recreated

Isro premises near Dodda Ullarthi village in Challakere taluk of Chitradurga district was chosen for the safe landing trials of Orbitor Vikram Lander and also for imparting training for the scientific equipment Pragyan Rover which were a part of Chandrayaan-2 mission.

A replica of the moon’s surface dotted with craters was artificially created to conduct the trials. Isro created 9 of the 10 craters similar to those on the moon’s surface measuring 3-metre deep and 7 to 9 metres wide.

The stones to recreate the craters were selected from areas around Salem in Tamil Nadu and were broken into various dimensions and poured in the region.

The Pragyan Rover which will be orbiting around the moon to collect data and preparations for the trials for the scientific equipment had been going on at Dodda Ullarthi for the last three years. The Isro scientists refused to divulge further information about the training owing to security reasons.