THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Vyom,’ the first sounding rocket built by Indian students, will take to the skies in February 2012.
The 2.31-metre tall rocket will lift off from the Thumba launching site of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). ‘Vyom’ is a project of the students of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), the ISRO academy at Valiyamala in the district for shaping space scientists.
The rocket, fully designed by BTech students with help from VSSC scientists, has already undergone three static tests and is awaiting final nod from the Main Safety Committee. The single-stage rocket weighs 89 kgs, and will fly 14 km skywards before plunging into the Arabian Sea.
“It will take 44 seconds to reach maximum altitude and will be airborne for 116 seconds in all,” said Gagan Agarwal, fourth-year BTech Aerospace Engineering student and Systems Engineer for the project.
IIST students have put up a detailed poster on ‘Vyom’ at the National conference on Space Transportation Systems which was inaugurated at Thumba on Friday by former President A P J Abdul Kalam.
‘Vyom’ will have a tri-axis accelerometer as payload which will measure the acceleration of the rocket, said Dr K N Ninan, Emeritus Professor, IIST. Sounding rockets are nothing new to Thiruvananthapuram as hundreds have been launched from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) of the VSSC. But ‘Vyom’ will have the distinction of having the youngest designers.
IIST had launched the Sounding Rocket Project shortly after its inauguration in 2007.