ISRO: Indian Space Research Organisation is developing “Green Propulsion Technology”. The new technology is being developed for the ISRO’s Human Space Flight Mission, Gaganyaan. This mission is to be launched in December by 2021.

The Propulsion Technology

A Propulsion means push forward or drive an object forward. In rockets & airplanes, the propulsion is generated through the application of Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. A working fluid or a gas accelerates the engine.

ISRO’s Green Propulsion Technology

  • In 2018, ISRO began the journey of developing Green Propulsion Technology. Also in 2018, They developed an eco-friendly solid propellant Glycidyl Azide polymer GAP as fuel and Ammonium Di-Nitramide as oxidiser.
  • The Organisation had been carrying out technology demonstration projects involving green propellant combinations such as kerosene, Hydrogen Peroxide, Liquid Oxygen, AND-Glycerol-water, AND-Methanol-water.
  • The Organisation has begun the testing of Liquid Oxygen, Liquid Hydrogen based propulsion systems for launch vehicles.
  • The Organisation has already using Green Propulsion Technologies in its mission. However, the technologies are used only in part of the mission. For instance, Liquid Oxygen, Liquid Hydrogen combination of propulsion is used in the Cryogenic upper states of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.
  • The Organisation has developed ISORENE ( rocket grade version of kerosene). It is an alternative to conventional Hydrazine rocket fuel.
  • The Organisation successfully demonstrated the Electric Propulsion system in its South Asia Satellite that was launched in May by 2017.

The South Asia Satellite

South Asia Satellite is also known as GSAT-9. The GSAT-9 is operated by ISRO for SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Maldives. Pakistan is not included in this programme.

Pakistan offered technical and monetary support to GSAT-9. However, India rejected the proposal saying it is not willing to develop the satellite on collaborative basis.

Pakistan maintains its own space programme under SUPARCO. SUPARCO is Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission.