Technology startup Skyroot Aerospace test-fires India's first privately built cryogenic rocket engine Dhawan-1
Hyderabad-based space technology startup, Skyroot Aerospace, has test-fired Dhawan-1, India’s first privately developed fully cryogenic rocket engine.
The rocket engine, named Dhawan-1 in honour of Indian rocket scientist Satish Dhawan, has been developed using 3D printing technology and is fuelled by liquefied natural gas and liquid oxygen- a high performance, low-cost and clean rocket fuel, the company said.
“This is a completely ‘Made-in-India’ cryogenic engine developed using 3D printing with a superalloy, reducing manufacturing time by more than 95 per cent”, said Pawan Kumar Chandana, cofounder and chief executive at Skyroot Aerospace. “This test makes us one of the very few companies in the world to have successfully demonstrated this technology.”
With this milestone, Skyroot has demonstrated all the three propulsion technologies that will be used in its first series of small satellite launch vehicles, it said.
“The complex engine start and shut-off transients (were) perfectly smooth, combustion was very stable, and pressure was rock steady. This is a phenomenal achievement by our team and we’ve mastered handling two cryogenic fuels,” said Padma Shri awardee V Gnanagandhi, who heads the cryogenic propulsion team at Skyroot.
Skyroot is backed by the explosives manufacturer and ISRO supplier Solar Industries, promoters of renewable energy frim Greenko Group and Curefit founder Mukesh Bansal.
The company is looking to manufacture and develop rockets that will hurl small satellites into space with a quick turnaround and at an extremely low cost. Skyroot plans to use carbon composites to develop the rocket case, apart from 3D printing to manufacture the rocket engines.