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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for a significant milestone in its development of airbreathing propulsion technology. In the next two months, ISRO plans to conduct a scramjet engine test with a targeted flight duration exceeding 300 seconds. This extended test marks a major step forward from ISRO’s previous scramjet experiment.

Spearheading this crucial test is Dr. V Narayanan, Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC). LPSC, a key center within ISRO, plays a vital role in developing and producing advanced propulsion systems for India’s space vehicles.

ISRO’s scramjet engine is a marvel of airbreathing propulsion technology. Unlike conventional rockets that carry their own oxidizer (oxygen), scramjets utilize oxygen from the atmosphere itself, offering greater efficiency for hypersonic flight. In the previous test, the scramjet achieved a hypersonic speed of Mach 6, showcasing its potential for future applications.

The upcoming extended test will involve ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV). This sophisticated sounding rocket serves as the launch platform for the scramjet engine. During the previous test, the ATV, carrying the scramjet engine, achieved a liftoff weight of 3277 kg. In the upcoming test, the ATV will likely play a similar role, propelling the scramjet to the required altitude and velocity for airbreathing ignition.