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Monday, Dec 03, 2001

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ISRO tests Vikas engine
By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, DEC. 2. The ISRO crossed a major milestone on Friday when it successfully tested an up-rated version of the liquid propellant Vikas engine at ISRO's liquid propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. Vikas engines are employed in the second stage of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) as well as the second and the four strap-on stages of the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). The up-rated version of the engine developed a chamber pressure of 58.5 bar against 52.5 bar in the current version. This new engine uses UH25 (a mixture of unsymmetrical di-methyl hydrazine and hydrazine hydrate) as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide as oxidiser. A number of short-duration tests of the up-rated version was conducted in the past few months to check the inter-play of various parameters to ensure a stable combustion before conducting the test.

In addition to verification of performance of the engine for full duration, the test validated the silica-phenolic throat for the extended duration of burning time.

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