BENGALURU, March 23: The static test of first stage solid motor (SS1) of ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) – a new-generation compact rocket – was not successful, according to sources in ISRO.
“Oscillation was noticed after 60 seconds into the test and nozzle was blown out near the bucket flange where it’s attached with the motor at around 95 seconds,” sources in the Bengaluru-headquartered space agency said.
It was supposed to be tested for a total duration of about 110 seconds, officials said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation had targeted to launch the first development flight of SSLV (D1) in April and may now in all probability have to revise this schedule.
“SSLV first stage is a new solid motor with new design. New motor has to be static tested on the ground to prove its performance. If it is successful, one more of the same configuration is tested again for acceptance. If both are successful, no more ground test is required and third motor of the same configuration will be accepted for flight,” an ISRO official said.
SS2 and SS3 motors, igniters and SS2 flex nozzle assembly, liquid propulsion-based VTM (Velocity Trimming Module) thrusters, propellant tanks and propulsion components had already been realised by ISRO and made ready for the maiden orbital test flight.
“We have to identify the root cause of the failure and modify the design,” the official said on the unsuccessful testing at Sriharikota spaceport in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, about 100 km north of Chennai, last week.
Asked how long it may take for ISRO to complete the two static tests, the official said: “Maybe six months”.
SSLV is two metres in diameter and 34 metres in length with a liftoff weight of about 120 tons.
ISRO has over the years realised five generations of launch vehicles – SLV-3, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV and GSLV-MkIII.
The space agency had earlier said the SSLV is going to be a new member of the launch vehicle family. It is intended to cater to emerging global small satellite launch service market.
“We are flying an earth observation satellite (EOS-02) on board the first development flight of SSLV,” ISRO Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space, K Sivan said last month. – PTI