ISRO’s Gaganyaan: SAIL’s Bhilai plant sending high strength special steel to make satellite launch vehicle

Yash Shukla

Gaganyaan: The preparation for India’s first manned space mission Gaganyaan is going on in full swing with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) pulling out all stops to make it a success. The construction of the satellite launch vehicle, which will be used to launch the manned satellite, is being undertaken by ISRO. In view of the high profile mission, scientists are leaving no stone unturned to get hold of the best material for manufacturing different parts of the satellite and its launching vehicle.

Special grade steel plates have been procured from the Bhilai plant of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to be used in the launch vehicle, according to a PTI report. Maraging steel which is also known as MDN 250 in technical parlance is being used in the mission.

Stringent technological norms were set for the mission which have been strictly adhered to by all the departments of SAIL and the slabs were supplied by Misra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MDNL), SAIL Bhilai plant CEO Anirban Dasgupta was quoted as saying by PTI.

The steel which has been consigned for the mission is a high strength, high temperature resistant steel has high percentage of alloys, Dasgupta added. A consignment of 40 tonnes of the MDN 250 steel was sent for the mission in the first week of February, he informed. SAIL has been associated with earlier missions of ISRO as well in the past. The Salem plant had sent steel for Chandrayaan 1 and Chandrayaan 2, and Mangal mission.

The first manned space mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort during his independence day speech in 2018. The mission is expected to be launched by the year 2021. Four Indian Air Force pilots who have been shortlisted for the manned mission are undergoing their training in Russia.