ISRO Launches First Student-Designed Rocket Called Vyom
For the first time in the history of India’s space program, a student-designed rocket was launched at the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station on Friday.
AsianScientist (May 16, 2012) - For the first time in the history of India's space program, a student-designed rocket was launched at the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) near Thiruvanathanapuram at 7.25 p.m. on Friday.
The 2.3 meter long single stage sounding rocket, called "Vyom" or sky in Sanskrit, with a lift off weight of 88 kg, was designed by the students of ISRO's Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thirvanathanapuram.
The payload for the student-made rocket was a 10 k tri-axis accelerometer which measures the earth's gravitational forces on three axes. It flew to an altitude of 13.7 km.
Apart from being the first rocket to be made by students, it also used a new type of rocket fuel called hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene.
In India, students have designed and placed satellites into orbit. But, this is the first time that a rocket designed by students was launched. IIST director K. S. Dasgupta has been quoted as saying that "it performed better than we expected."
Project head K. N. Ninan added that the real objective was to have students trained and to "get them used to what it is like to work at ISRO." The project exposed students to many key areas in the design and manufacture of rockets which will give them a unique edge in their professional life at ISRO, he said.
The genesis of ISRO dates back to early 2009 when students of the first and second batches of the institute numbering about 25 evinced keen interest in designing, developing, and launching rockets.
They were split into teams and their starry dreams turned into a reality on the evening of May 11, 2012 - a red letter day in the history of India's space program.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: VYOM Facebook page.
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