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ISRO eyeing 200th successful launch of Rohini RH¬200 sounding rocket in a row

  • Published
    29th Sep, 2022

In a few weeks’ time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) hopes to achieve a remarkable feat — the 200th successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.


About Sounding Rocket

  • Sounding rockets are one or two-stage solid propellant rockets used for probing the upper atmospheric regions and for space research. 
    • Sounding in the rocket context is equivalent to "taking a measurement".
  • The rockets are used to launch instruments from 48 to 145 km above the surface of the Earth, the altitude generally between weather balloons and satellites.
  • The maximum altitude for balloons is about 40 km and the minimum for satellites is approximately 121 km.
  • They also serve as easily affordable platforms to test or prove prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.

About Rohini RH-200

  • RH-200 is a two-stage rocket capable of climbing to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads.
  • The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors. 
    • The ‘200’ in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm.
  • Other operational Rohini variants are RH-300 Mk-II and RH-560 Mk-III.
  • For years, the RH-200 rocket had used a polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-based propellant.
  • The first RH-200 to use a new propellant based on hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) was successfully flown from the TERLS in September 2020.
  • The first and second stages of the RH200 rocket are powered by solid motors.
  • Since the inception of the RH200 rocket, both solid stages have been processed using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) based propellant.
  • As compared to PVC based propellants, HTPB based propellant is more energetic, has higher mechanical & interface properties and has less defects due to lower processing temperature.

The ISRO has launched more than 1,600 RH-200 rockets so far. Currently, the RH200, RH300 MkII and RH560 Mk-III rockets are operational which were developed during the early phase of India’s journey in rocketry.

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