The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully tested its new scramjet engine and expects a commercial launch. This is being touted as the most cost-effective rocket engine the world has seen.
With this, the ISRO, which is already the most inexpensive commercial satellite launch service provider in the world, expects to attract more customers worldwide.
The test carried out from Satish Dhawan Space Center, located at Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, demonstrated the key technological aspects of the engine.
These included the ignition of its engines at supersonic speeds, maintaining thrust at supersonic speeds, and tests of its air intake mechanism and fuel injection systems.
"The first experimental mission of ISRO's Scramjet Engine towards the realization of an Air Breathing Propulsion System was conducted August 28, 2016 from Satish Dhawan Space Center SHAR, Sriharikota.
After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota," reads a statement released by ISRO.
The Scramjet engine designed by ISRO uses Hydrogen as a fuel and the Oxygen from the atmospheric air as its oxidizer. The use of atmospheric oxygen will reduce the weight of the rocket engine substantially, which can then be used to launch heavy payloads.