THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If things pan out, ‘Vyom,’ the sounding rocket built by students of ISRO’s Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Valiyamala, is likely to lift off from Thumba this week.
Technical snags in the motor had led to the postponement of the original schedule in February 2012. The launch is scheduled for 6.30 pm on Friday, IIST officials said.
‘Vyom’ has the distinction of being the first sounding rocket built by the student community in the country. However, IIST director Dr K S Dasgupta said the launch date is yet to be finalised.
Though ISRO has launched hundreds of sounding rockets from Thumba, ‘Vyom’ is also special in that it has been developed by the youngest team. The first batch of IIST students started off on the project in 2007, a few months after the institute was inaugurated at a temporary campus at Veli. Successive batches had carried on with the project.
The students were made to approach the project in a professional manner by forming separate teams for propulsion, aerodynamics, trajectory, structure and manufacturing. As payload, the sounding rocket will have a tri-axis accelerometer which will measure the acceleration rate of the rocket.
Standing 2.31 metres tall, the single-stage rocket weighs 89 kg, and will zip 14 kilometres skywards before falling into the Arabian Sea. According to IIST officials, it will take 44 seconds to reach maximum altitude and will be in air for 116 seconds.