After successfully testing a reusable launch vehicle, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to test an air-breathing propulsion system, which aims to capitalise on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.
• Generally, vehicles that are used to launch satellites use combustion of propellants with oxidizer and fuel.
• The air-breathing propulsion system aims at using oxygen present in the atmosphere up to 50 km from the earth’s surface to burn the fuel stored in the rocket.
• The new propulsion system, once mastered, would complement ISRO’s aim to develop a reusable launch vehicle that would have longer flight duration.
• The Dual Mode Ramjet (DMRJ), the ramjet-scramjet combination, is currently under development, which will operate during the crucial Mach 3 to Mach 9 ascend flight of the launch vehicle.
• ISRO is now evolving and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles.
• The national space agency has earlier developed rockets that can send multiple satellites in a single mission.