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Bellatrix Aerospace Sucessfully Qualifies Propulsion Systems

Bellatrix Aerospace qualifies propulsion systems through PSLV-C58 Mission. Credit: ISRO

Ibadan, 12 January 2024. – Bellatrix Aerospace has achieved a significant milestone with the successful launch of its Rudra and Arka propulsion systems onboard ISRO’s PSLV C-58 launch vehicle on 1st January 2024. The company had earlier tested India’s first privately developed Hall Effect Thruster (Arka) in 2021 and subsequently unveiled the nation’s first High-Performance Green Propulsion system (Rudra) in 2022, representing significant milestones in Indian space technology.

Rudra’s green propulsion system is a potential game-changer as it looks to replace hazardous hydrazine with a non-toxic, environmentally friendly, high-performing proprietary propellant. This technology minimizes the environmental impact of toxic propellants, aligning India’s space program with the global push for sustainable exploration. Rudra is ideal for satellite missions with high thrust requirements.

Likewise, Arka features an electric engine, utilizing electricity instead of conventional chemical propellants. These engines offer superior fuel efficiency and more precise control, paving the way for longer-lasting and more maneuvrable satellites. As a result, Arka is ideal for satellite missions with high-efficiency requirements. Arka’s successful qualification also enabled the qualification of proprietary valves, propellant flow control systems, and a few other critical technologies.

Speaking on the successful qualification, Mr Rohan M Ganapathy, CEO & CTO of Bellatrix Aerospace, commented, “We are glad to report that both Rudra and Arka are operating in space as per design specifications. Upon firing of Rudra, we recorded a noticeable displacement of the POEM-3 platform, which was in line with our simulations.”

Arka’s validation came upon the successful ignition and functioning of the thruster and heaterless hollow cathode. The mission also validated temperature, pressure, current and voltage levels from onboard sensors for both Arka and Rudra, which, according to the Company’s CEO, reassured payload performance in alignment with ground test results.

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