From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : ISRO's 200th launch
Mains level : Not Much
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has attempted the 200th consecutively successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket from Thumba.
RH-200 (Rohini )
- RH-200 is a two-stage rocket capable of climbing to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads.
- The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors. The ‘200’ in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm.
- Other operational Rohini variants are RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III.
- For years, the RH-200 rocket had used a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant.
- The first RH-200 to use a new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) was successfully flown from the TERLS in September 2020.
- The first and second stages of RH200 rocket are powered by solid motors.
- Since inception of RH200 rocket, both solid stages are processed using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) based propellant.
- As compared to PVC based propellants, HTPB based propellant is more energetic, higher mechanical & interface properties and has less defects due to lower processing temperature.
What basically is a Sounding Rocket?
- A sounding rocket is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight.
- The rockets are used to launch instruments from 48 to 145 km above the surface of the Earth, the altitude generally between weather balloons and satellites.
- The maximum altitude for balloons is about 40 km and the minimum for satellites is approximately 121 km.
History of sounding rockets in India
- Sounding rockets have an important place in the ISRO story.
- The first sounding rocket to be launched from Thumba was the American Nike-Apache — on November 21, 1963.
- After that, two-stage rockets imported from Russia (M-100) and France (Centaure) were flown. The ISRO launched its own version — Rohini RH-75 — in 1967.
- The ISRO has launched more than 1,600 RH-200 rockets so far.
- Currently, the RH200, RH300 MkII and RH560 Mk-III rockets are operational which were developed during the early phase of our journey in rocketry.