Space research in India started in 1961 when a two-stage rocket was launched from Thumba on 21 November 1963. On the sudden passing away of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the originator of the Indian space programme, Prof. Satish Dhawan became the second chairman of ISRO. His stewardship saw it through its teething troubles on to launching of several R & D tasks and growth of several ISRO Centres. Major breakthrough in many hightech areas took place during this period. High energy composite solid propellants were developed, characterized and produced at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and at the Sriharikota Centre. Exotic fuel binders such as CHEF-20, Polyol and HTPB for these propellants were also developed in ISRO as part of the indigenisation programme. The Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 (SLV-3) conceived in the early seventies, was fitted with four stage motors filled with solid propellants made in ISRO’s own plants. These facilities, including critical process equipment, have come up as a result of ISRO’s indigenization efforts. The SHAR Plant known as PROB has been further augmented to produce large propellant grains to meet the needs of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
KeywordsSolid propellant HTPB-based propellant rocket motor propellant binder
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