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Home3D PrintingIndia's Skyroot successfully test fires 3D-printed rocket engine

India’s Skyroot successfully test fires 3D-printed rocket engine

Dhawan-II is a 3.5 Kilo Newton (kN) engine named after India’s top rocket scientist, Dr. Satish Dhawan.

Skyroot Dhawan-II

Dhawan-II’s test firing for a continuous 200 seconds. (Photo: Twitter/@PawanKChandana)

By India Today Science Desk: Skyroot Aerospace, India’s top private aerospace company, successfully fired an advanced fully 3D-printed cryogenic engine, Dhawan-II. The engine roared to life for 200 seconds as the endurance test demonstrated the agility of the 3D-printed structure est to power the company’s Vikram-II rocket.

The test was conducted at Solar Industries propulsion test facility in Nagpur using Skyroot’s indigenously developed mobile cryogenic engine test pad.

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“The successful test of Dhawan-II is a landmark achievement for Skyroot and the Indian private space sector. We are proud to be at the forefront in developing cutting-edge cryogenic technologies in the private space sector of India, and pushing the limit with advanced technologies like 3D printing and green propellants,” Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-founder, and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace said in a statement.

Dhawan-II is a 3.5 Kilo Newton (kN) engine named after India’s top rocket scientist, Dr. Satish Dhawan. The new test-fired engine is a successor of the fully-cryogenic rocket engine Dhawan-I which generates a 1.0 kN thrust.

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The cryogenic rocket engine uses two high-performance rocket fuels, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquid Oxygen (LoX), which require cryogenic temperatures (below -150? Celsius) for storage and operation. LNG is more than 90 per cent Methane, and LoX is a green burning fuel that is environmentally friendly.

The company said that fully cryogenic engines are ideal for the upper stages of a rocket due to their higher specific impulse, which greatly enhances payload-carrying capabilities.

The Vikram-S rocket launches from Sriharikota. (Photo: Isro)

V. Gnanagandhi, who leads the liquid and cryogenic propulsion at Skyroot, noted that the 3D-printed Dhawan – II engine also uses a 3D-printed torch igniter and a bellow-actuated cryo-injection valve with a quick response time.

The development comes months after Skyroot conducted the maiden launch of a privately developed rocket. The rocket dubbed Vikram-S was successfully launched from the sounding rocket complex of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

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