Indian Space Research Organization ISRO has successfully test launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, called Scramjet, this morning. The national space agency says its first ever experimental mission using the engine on-board the sounding rocket ATV02 has met all the specified goals. Scientists claim, it is a major step towards realising an Air Breathing Propulsion System, that uses oxygen from the atmosphere for burning the fuel in rockets.
At present, oxidizing agents are being used along with the fuels in the rockets, making the vehicles heavy and expensive. Once the new technology is adopted, the cost of satellite launches would come down significantly and heavier satellites can also be launched using smaller vehicles. The rocket carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off. With today’s success, India has joined the select league of four space faring nations that have demonstrated flight testing of Scramjet engines.