Sounding Rocket Launch Anniversary Goes Unnoticed

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Jun 10, 2014.



    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It replaced a French rocket in 1987 and ten years later, it inaugurated a rocket launching range in Norway, but the anniversary of its first-ever flight passed off largely unnoticed on Sunday. Sunday marked the 27th anniversary of the first developmental flight of the RH-300 MK-II sounding rocket, one of four rocket types current used by ISRO to study the upper atmosphere. It was launched on June 8, 1987, from the Sriharikota spaceport. A modified version of the RH-300 (RH stands for Rohini) sounding rockets, the MK-II version was quickly developed by ISRO as a replacement for the French Centaure IIB rocket.

    ‘’The main reason why its (RH-300 MK-II) development was undertaken was the imminent expiry of the licence to produce Centaure in India. With all the experience and expertise gained in designing sounding rockets over the years, ISRO felt it would be unbecoming to ask for a renewal of the French licence!,’’ former ISRO officials P V Manoranjan Rao and P Radhakrishnan have recalled in their book ‘A Brief History of Rocketry in ISRO.’ The book describes the first flight of the RH-300 MK-II as ‘’a grand success.’’

    Sounding rockets, in use since the establishment of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in Thiruvananthapuram in the early 1960s, help to study, or ‘sound,’ the upper regions of the atmosphere. ‘’RH-300 MK-II is one of our workhorses,’’ says Ratnakara Rao, deputy director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and a former head of the sounding rocket division.

    ‘’It is one of the four types of sounding rockets we use today and can go upto a height of 160 km,’’ Ratnakara Rao said. The latest launch of RH-300 MK-II was from Thumba in 2010.

    This rocket has another achievement to its credit: it was the first rocket to lift off from the Svalbard Rocket Launching Station in Norway. But the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC) gave the rocket a different name - Isbjorn I, Norwegian for ‘Polar Bear.’ Isbjorn I was to be launched on November 16, 1997, a day after the Svalbard range was formally opened. But inclement weather botched up the schedule and the rocket was finally launched on November 20.

    Sounding Rocket Launch Anniversary Goes Unnoticed - The New Indian Express
  3. Bheeshma

    Bheeshma Regular Member

    Aug 22, 2012
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    No prob hopefully the PSLV, GSLV launch anniversaries also are forgotten cause their launch is so routine.

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