Thiruvananthapuram

‘Mrinal’ remembered

Fifty years after they developed ‘Mrinal,’ the Indian space programme's first composite solid propellant for launch vehicles, surviving members of the Propellant Engineering Division (PED) gathered at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) on Wednesday to relive memories.

The get-together was meant to mark the 50th anniversary of the successful flight-test of ‘Mrinal’ - the propellant was named after Mrinalini Sarabhai - from Thumba aboard an RH-75 sounding rocket on February 21, 1969. VSSC also organised a colloquium ‘Solid Propellants: Past, Present and Future’ as part of Wednesday's event.

ISRO chairman K. Sivan addressed the gathering over video from Bangalore. Solid propellants continue to play a significant role in all of ISRO’s launch vehicles, he pointed out.

ISRO has mastered the solid propulsion technology with all associated complexities to successfully realise world-class solid boosters and a versatile array of solid motors in its launch vehicles, VSSC director S. Somanath said.

Former members of the ‘Mrinal’ team Rajaram Nagappa, who subsequently retired as associate director, VSSC, and V. N. Krishnamurthy who retired as deputy director, shared their memories. Sudha Gowarikar, wife of Vasant Gowarikar who had headed PED at the time, also shared her memories. LPSC director V. Narayanan, former VSSC director S. Ramakrishnan and H. S. Mukunda of IISc, Bangalore, also spoke.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 5:34:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/mrinal-remembered/article26391754.ece

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