Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is celebrated 50th anniversary of its first composite solid propellant ‘Mrinal’. On February 21, 1969 this propellant was used to fly Rohini series RH-75 sounding rocket, which was designated Dynamic Test Vehicle (DTV), from Thumba.
Mrinal Solid propellant
- It was first totally indigenous composite propellant manufactured using locally available raw materials.
- It basically contained raw materials such as polyester resin, ammonium perchlorate and aluminium powder along with nitro-glycerine (worked in static firing and improved its energy and processability).
- It was developed by team at Propellant Engineering Division (PED) of Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC), a precursor to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
- Dr VR Gowarikar was brain behind this composite solid propellant. It was named after Mrinalini Sarabhai, noted dance and wife of Vikram Sarabhai, father of India's space programme.
- It was used to propel flights up to DTV-4 version and was not extensively used by ISRO in its later launches. In later developments, it did not find extensive use with ISRO due to scaling-up issues.
- Its success has heralded development of indigenous solid propellant technology in the country. Now, ISRO has mastered indigenous solid propellants and propulsion technology.