Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has achieved yet another milestones with the 100th consecutively successful launch of Rohini 200 rocket.
“Wednesday, July 15, 2015 became a prestigious and memorable day in the history of the sounding rocket programme of India, as the RH-200 (Rohini) rocket had its 100th consecutively successful launch from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), Thumba, in Thiruvananthapuram”, said an official ISRO note.
Weighing 108 kg, the Rohini rocket (RH-200), successfully injected a 12 kg chaff payload into orbit at an altitude of 70 kms.
The launch of the first sounding rocket from Thumba (a location close to the magnetic equator), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on 21 November 1963, marked the beginning of the Indian Space Programme.
Since then ISRO has launched 1545 RH-200 rockets which have carried satellites that have conducted several scientific experiments.
“Among the many experiments the most important ones have been: MONEX (Monsoon Experiment) under which over a thousand rockets were launched. Equatorial Wave Studies (EWS) by Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) had 51 launches of RH-200 rockets from the Satish Dhawan Space Center. Another major programme was MIDAS (Dynamics Middle Atmosphere) by SPL, which had 180 launches of this rocket from the TERLS Range”, according to ISRO.
ISRO’s Rohini (RH) rocket series comprises of: RH-75, RH-100, RH-125, RH-200, RH-300 and RH-560, the number in the name indicating the diameter of the rocket in millimeters (mm).
Of these the RH-200 has been used by ISRO as an ideal and affordable platform to test and evaluate prototypes of new components and subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
The development and launch of sounding rockets has been the bedrock on which the edifice of lSRO’s launch vehicle technology has been built. The sounding rockets have been the prelude to ISRO’s major launch vehicles, the ASLV, PSLV and GSLV.