VSSC Question Papers - VSSC Interview Questions and Answers updated on Feb 2018
VSSC is the lead Centre for development of satellite launch vehicles and associated technologies. The Centre pursues active research and development in a host of distinct technology domains like aeronautics, avionics, composites, etc with a view to achieve self-reliance in the high tech realm of launch vehicle technology.
Apart from VSSC, ISRO Satellite Centre (lSAC) at Bangalore, Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota near Chennai, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala, Mahendagiri and Bangalore and Space Application Centre (SAC) at Ahmedabad are the other major ISRO Centres.
Evolution of VSSC
VSSC has its origin in the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS). TERLS became operational on November 21, 1963 with the successful launching of a two-stage sounding rocket, 'Nike-Apache'. After the death of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, on December 30, 1971, the whole complex at Thiruvananthapuram was renamed as "Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre".
Early Days of ISRO
Indian space programme is driven by the vision of Dr Vikram Sarabhai. Setting up of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (lNCOSPAR) in 1962 marked its beginning. Establishment of a rocket launching station at Thumba also started in the same year. The Indian Space Programme was institutionalized in November 1969 with the formation of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Government of India constituted the space commission and established the Department Of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and brought ISRO under DOS.
Indian Space Systems
Indian Space programme aims to promote the development and application of space science and technology for the socio-economic benefit of the country. ISRO has established two major space systems, Indian National Satellite Systems (INSAT) for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resource monitoring and management. ISRO has developed two satellite launch vehicles, PSLV and GSLV, to place IRS and INSAT class satellites in the required orbits. Department of Space (DOS) implements these programmes through ISRO and other agencies, such as National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), North-Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAC) and Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL).
Areas of Research
VSSC is a major R&D Centre with core competencies in varied disciplines. The Centre has well-defined and focused research activities and pursues research and development in the fields of aeronautics, avionics, composites, computer and information technology, control guidance and simulation, materials and mechanical engineering, mechanisms vehicle integration and testing, propellants and polymers, propulsion and space ordnance, and systems reliability. These research entities are the system development agencies for the projects and thus provide for the realization of the project objectives. Management functions are supported by management systems area. The Centre depends on administrative and auxiliary services for support.
Fundamental research in space sciences is being carried out at Space Physics Laboratory. Research activities are spread over a wide range of disciplines such as surface boundary level physics, atmospheric aerosols, chemistry of radiation, atmospheric dynamics, etc.
ISRO has developed an array of sounding rockets and four generations of launch vehicles and thus establishing operational space transportation system. After the first Nike Apache sounding rocket, a series of rockets were launched from Thumba, which was followed by many other sounding rockets of various types such as Arcas and Dragon from USA, Judi-dart, Petrel and Skua from UK and Centaure from France. The USSR meteorological sounding rockets called M-100 were launched from TERLS every week from 1970 until 1993, launching 1161 rockets during that period. Over the years VSSC has designed, developed and launched a family of sounding rockets under the generic name, Rohini Sounding Rockets (RSR) to serve a range of scientific missions. The currently operational Rohini Sounding Rockets are RH-200, RH-300, RH-560 and their different versions. These sounding rockets are launched for carrying out research in areas like meteorology and upper atmospheric processes up to an altitude of about 500 km.
Launch Vehicle Projects
The beginning of eighties marked a watershed in launch vehicle development. The first successful flight of SLV-3 took place on July 18, 1980. The SLV-3 programme was subsequently wound up after the intended four flights. It was followed by the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle, which could launch 150kg satellites into near earth orbits.
The nineties saw the emergence of India's workhorse launch vehicle, the PSLV. It was developed and launched for the first time in 1993. In October 1994, PSLV had its first successful flight and since then it had not looked back. The eleventh consecutively successful launch of PSLV-C10 was in January 2008. PSLV has been used for launching multiple satellites for various missions and in different configurations. The payload capacity has been increased from 1100 Kg to 1600 kg in SSPO.
The first decade of the present century, saw Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which made a series of flights. The first GSLV mission was successfully made in April 2001. On May 8, 2003, GSLV-D2 mission put GSAT2 satellite into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The Launch of EDUSAT, a satellite dedicated for teleeducation, through GSLV-F01 was an epoch making event. The next mission of GSLV will launch INSAT 4CR, a repeat of the INSAT 4C, which was lost in the failed GSLV-F-02 mission.
Space Capsule Recovery Experiment
January 2007 marked another major milestone in the history of the Centre when the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment Module (SRE-1) was safely brought back to earth after 10 days in orbit. This is the culmination of perfecting a host of technologies, including the important thermal protection systems, which could withstand the large heat flux of the reentry through atmosphere.
VSSC is certified for compliance to ISO 9001 :2000 quality management system. The quality objectives of the Centre are planning, implementing and maintaining a quality system during design, development, production and operation of subsystems and systems for launch vehicles. It also aims at achieving continued improvement in the process leading to zero defect. Innovation through technology development programmes for achieving excellence, achieving cost effectiveness by utilizing appropriate proven technologies, using existing infrastructure maximally and achieving self-reliance through indigenisation programmes utilizing Indian industries.
VSSC has a large workforce of about 4500 employees, most of them specialists in frontier disciplines. With its state of the art facilities in all the disciplines, the Centre has grown expertise in a host of technology areas.
GSLV-Mk III vehicle is being developed with the ambitious goal of self-sufficiency in launching 4T class satellites to GTO from Indian soil. Now under development, the GSLV Mklll will be a 630 tonne vehicle with indigenous cryogenic stage. Air Breathing Propulsion project is the technology development project for design and development of air breathing propulsion systems for advanced reusable launch vehicles. The centre is working on Reusable Launch Vehicle –Technology Demonstrator project that primarily demonstrates the mission in the hypersonic regime, re-entry and recovery technologies.
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