When An Indian Rocket Shot Up Into The Norwegian Sky

Discussion in 'Indian Defense Forum' started by Indx-techs, Feb 21, 2017.

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  1. Indx-techs

    Indx-techs Captain

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    By Spansen
    When An Indian Rocket Shot Up Into The Norwegian Sky

    To a positively mixed outcome.
    [​IMG]

    In 1997, 4 Scientists from Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] travelled to the Svalbard Rocket Range, in Norway, for a unique mission. The, then, still fledgling Antrix Corporation Ltd. had recently bagged one of its earliest export orders. Setup in 1992, to commercialise ISRO's portfolio of services, it had signed an agreement with the Norwegian Space Centre for the sale of a Rohini RH-300 Mk.II Sounding Rocket. As far as I can tell, it was Antrix's first hardware sale.

    Designed to launch a 70 kg payload to an altitude of 120 km, the RH-300 would carry a Langmuir Probe on-board, to undertake Polar Ionospheric studies. The launch was also the first from the newly setup Svalbard range, signalling its inauguration. A big deal it, thus, was for all involved. More used to the tropical climes of Thumba, in Kerala, the Rocket had, therefore, to be qualified afresh for a launch from the Svalbard's perpetually ice-covered surroundings. Thus, after ensuring critical systems like its solid-fuelled Engine, Igniter, Spin Rocket & Pyros were up to the task, the Rocket was shipped off to the range, the northernmost in the world.

    [​IMG]

    M.C. Dathan, M Raveendran, C. Subbaiah & A. Narayanankutty accompanied the Rocket to provide guidance for the mission. Madhavan Chandradathan, later, rose to become the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre [VSSC]. He, currently, is the Scientific Adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala. At site, the Norwegians christened it Isbjørn-1, meaning Polar Bear 1. Prior to launch, the Rocket, positioned on the launcher, was covered with a Velostat, to protect it from the harsh Polar weather, where temperatures ranged from -5 to -20 degrees Celsius. At launch it was to tear through the Velostat's fabric, soaring upwards. Quite a sight, I'd imagine.


    On November 20, 1997, the Isbjorn-1 took to the skies, reaching, however, an altitude of only 71 km. Its range, too, fell short of the designed 129 km, by 35 km. Post-launch analysis revealed that, instead of launching the Rocket at an angle of 84 degrees, it was incorrectly aligned at 75. In addition, the Spin Rockets too failed to ignite, as electric supply to its igniter got disconnected, likely while covering the Rocket with the Velostat, they concluded.

    All wasn't lost, though, it appears, as it provided some unexpected benefits. Thanks to the Rocket's longer dwell time in the lower apogee, the payload was able to gather a lot of data from that region. From those days, when India offered relatively low-tech Sounding Rocket, today, it engages in undertaking record-breaking services. Come a long way. A long way to go.

    Godspeed
     
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  2. Kat

    Kat 1st Lieutenant

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    India's space program has come a long way since then. I was less then a year old when this launch took place|Cat|.

    I'd like to see India come back to Andøya, but I guess we'll have to wait until India fulfills its regional obligations and looks to expand globally, as Andøya offers a shorter and cheaper flight to a different part of the sky then India is currently interested in.

    In the mean time we're collaborating with NASA and the ESA. Rockets like Malamute and Black Brant aren't uncommon.

    [​IMG]

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    Andøya also plays host to a military testing range, which tests advanced missiles like the Naval and Joint Strike Missiles.
     
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  3. Indx-techs

    Indx-techs Captain

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    Sounding rocket looks cool, only India's newly developed Vyoma & ATV may be near.

    Current Rohini series, no way.
     
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