The scramjet engine will help reduce the launch cost of weather satellite INSAT-3DR
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested a scramjet engine on Sunday morning, according to local media reports.
The test flight of the engine was launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, situated on the southeastern coast of India. The five-minute test took place at 6am.
The scramjet engine will help ISRO reduce the launch cost of weather satellite INSAT-3DR, which will provide meteorological services to India.
ISRO scientists say the engine will carry atmospheric oxygen, which will reduce the weight of INSAT-3DR during its launch. The reduction in the satellite's weight by more than half will help it carry added equipment into the orbit.
"The ignition of the engine, the building up of pressure and the duration for which the engine can sustain the flame will be tested and monitored," director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre K Sivan had told TOI before the launch of the engine.
"The main concern is igniting the air-breathing engine in the air and then sustaining the flame at supersonic speed. If we can sustain it for five seconds, then it can last for even 1000 seconds," Sivan had said.
The engine was developed at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota.