The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has achieved an important breakthrough with the development and successful test launch of a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine. This first experimental mission of Indian Space Research Organisation is aimed at the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System which uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere air as the oxidiser. With this, the ISRO had successfully demonstrated its capabilities in critical technologies like ignition of air breathing engines at supersonic speed, air intake mechanism and fuel injection systems. India is the fourth country to test the scramjet technology in flight after the US, Russia and China.


Scramjet engines designed by ISRO uses hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser. Conventional rockets carry fuel and liquid oxygen for propulsion, but a scramjet engine uses oxygen present in the atmosphere to burn the fuel. Air-breathing scramjet engines will lead to the use of lighter and smaller rockets which can carry much greater payload. While the conventional rocket stages are burned up on re-entry into the atmosphere and are thus wasted, scramjet engine technology can lead to development of launch vehicles which can be reused after they are guided back to land on earth. They attain much higher velocity too. Scramjet engines have use in other areas as well. They may be used in cruise missiles for greater speed and thrust. The use of air-breathing rocket engine technology is envisaged in civil aviation, too. Scramjet-powered aircraft may be developed which will be faster and will make air travel cheaper, as fuel cost is the most important factor in the cost of air travel now.


ISRO was established with its headquarter at Bangalore in 1969. It functions under overall control of department of space.A.S. Kiran Kumar; Chairman of ISRO.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram
ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore
Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota
Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC), Valiamala, Mahendragiri, Bangalore
Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad
ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bangalore
Development and Educational Communication Unit (DECU), Ahmedabad
Master Control Facility (MCF), Bhopal
National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), Hyderabad
Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram
Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL), Chandigarh
Antrix Corporation Limited, Bangalore
Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad
National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun


Supersonic flight is one of the four speeds of flight. They are called the regimes of flight. The regimes of flight are subsonic, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic.
Vehicles that fly at supersonic speeds are flying faster than the speed of sound. The speed of sound is about 768 miles per hour (1,236 kilometers per hour) at sea level. These speeds are referred to by Mach numbers. The Mach number is the ratio of the speed of the aircraft to the speed of sound. Flight that is faster than Mach 1 is supersonic. Supersonic includes speeds up to five times faster than the speed of sound, or Mach 5.


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