ISRO successfully test fires a throttleable version of an engine used in two of its rockets

ISRO on January 30, 2023 successfully completed a static fire test of a throttleable version of its Vikas rocket engine, used in the upper stage of both its PSLV and GSLV rockets as well as in the GSLV’S first stage, running the engine at 67 percent power for a time period of 43 seconds.

The ability to adjust the power level of the engine during launch will give ISRO the ability to attempt the recovery of the first stages, as well as expand the ability of these rockets to place more satellites per launch in different orbits.

India successfully completes static fire testing of rocket engine for human flights

The new colonial movement: India has successfully completed the third long duration static fire tests of its Vikas rocket engine, to be used on its planned manned space mission dubbed Gaganyaan.

[T]he Vikas engine is the workhorse liquid rocket engine powering the second stage of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), second stage and the four strap-on stages of the Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the twin-engine core liquid stage (L110) of GSLV Mk-III.

Experts point out that the successful testing is necessary as the testing is part of the human rating of a rocket that was not originally designed to launch humans into space. Every space agency follows its own standards of human rating of a launch vehicle and there are no global standards. “This test is one of the critical items which need to be checked in human rating GSLV Mk-III. Semi-Cryogenic engine SE-200 which will replace Vikas is still under development and its developmental times will not match the ambitious Gaganyaan timelines. Vikas is one of the most reliable engines in the world and has proved its mettle.

If you look at PSLV, GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III missions where Vikas has been used, the burn profile or duration is approximately around 150-160s only on a typical flight. Testing its performance above its designed operational limit is essential to ensure engine reliability against any event of a mishap.

In other words, for the manned mission Vikas will have to burn for a much longer time than its normal profile. They have now successfully shown that it can handle that long burn time.

India tests upgraded rocket engine

The new colonial movement: India’s space agency ISRO has successfully tested an upgraded version of the Vikas rocket engine it uses in its PSLV and GSLV rockets.

The test was conducted on Sunday, and validated the performance adequacy of Vikas Engine to be used in the upcoming second developmental flight of GSLV Mk-III

Vikas Engine, a workhorse liquid rocket engine designed by the Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO), powers the second stage of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) of India. It also powers the second stage and the fourth strap of Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the twin-engine core liquid stage (L110) of GSLV Mk-III.

Essentially India here is doing what SpaceX did with its Merlin engine. Rather than start over with a new engine, they are upgrading it, a process that is faster and less expensive. And as they do it, they remain operational and competitive in the launch market, with as many as five launches now scheduled before the end of 2018.