Space

ISRO gets L&T’s first launch hardware for India Gaganyaan mission, overcoming COVID

Photo: L&T delivered first launch hardware for India’s Gaganyaan mission

New Delhi: As India prepares for its first human space mission ‘Gaganyaan‘ by Aug. 2022, Larsen & Toubro — nation’s leading engineering-procurement-construction projects, manufacturing, defence and services conglomerate — has delivered the first hardware, a booster segment, for the mission’s launch vehicle to the country’s space research agency.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) achieved the delivery to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ahead of schedule, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19, lock down in a virtual flag-off ceremony joined by ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan, a company statement said today.

“Notwithstanding the limitations imposed by COVID-19, the middle segment of the world’s third-largest solid propellant rocket booster — ‘S-200‘ — has been delivered ahead of schedule with zero-defects,” the statement said.

The segment was produced at L&T’s Powai Aerospace Manufacturing Facility, meeting the enhanced quality and timeline requirements for India’s maiden manned space mission.

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A partner of ISRO for five decades now, L&T is a key private sector player having a vital role in powering ISRO’s Human Space Flight Programme (HSFP). L&T has been involved in the production of a range of hardware for every mission of ISRO, including the acclaimed ‘Chandrayaan‘ and ‘Mangalyaan‘ missions.

The critical booster segment — with a diameter of 3.2 meters, 8.5 meters in length and weighing 5.5 tons — was jointly flagged off during the virtual event by Jayant D. Patil, a whole-time director and member of L&T board.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre‘s Director Dr S. Somnath, DHSP Director Dr V. R. Lalithambika, HSFC Director Dr S. Unnikrishnan Nair, members of the scientific community across ISRO laboratories and L&T officials too joined the event.

Terming this maiden delivery as a magnificent ‘Diwali‘ (Indian festival of lights) gift to the nation, Sivan said, “both the (ISRO and L&T) teams have relentlessly worked on realising the flight hardware ahead of schedule, while maintaining the highest quality standards required for a Human Space Flight Mission.”

Photo: ISRO Chairman Dr K. Sivan joining a virtual flag-off of S-200 from L&T.

“We felt honoured to be trusted by ISRO in this extremely critical space programme, where the best engineering minds and skilled hands of L&T are meeting the technological challenges with ISRO, its five-decade-old partner. We are confident that together with ISRO scientists, L&T engineers and technicians will fulfill aspirations of the nation,” Patil said.

NOTE: The Human Space Mission – GSLV MkIII launcher, which is ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher, is identified for ‘Gaganyaan‘ mission, given its requisite payload carrying capacity for launching an Orbiter module in a desired elliptical orbit. The S-200 forms the solid propellant booster for this launch vehicle.

NOTE: Larsen & Toubro is an Indian multinational engaged in engineering, procurement and construction projects, manufacturing, defence and services for over eight decades with over $21 billion in revenue. It operates in over 30 countries worldwide.

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