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ISRO flight-tests scramjet engine, joins elite club (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper III, Topic: Science and Technology)

India became only the fourth nation to flight-test a scramjet engine, a technology that scientists claim could change the way space travel is undertaken in the future.Though the full development of the engine, for an “air breathing” propulsion system that significantly reduces the amount of fuel needed to fire up engines on a rocket, is “decades away”, it is a significant milestone for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a top official said.

About Scramjet Engine
The scramjet engine works on an “air breathing” philosophy that reduces the amount of oxidiser to be carried along with the fuel, bringing down launch costs. Designed by the ISRO, it uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser.

The Scramjet when fully developed could help bring down the cost and time of intercontinental travel. It could be used in Launch Vehicles, Missiles, etc.



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