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Source: The post is based on the article “ISRO eyeing 200th successful launch of RH-200 sounding rocket in a row” published in The Hindu on 26th September 2022.
What is the News?
The Indian Space Research Organization(ISRO) is planning the 200th successful launch of the Rohini RH-200 sounding rocket in a row.
What is RH-200?
RH-200 is a part of the Rohini-sounding rocket family used by the ISRO for atmospheric studies. It has completed 198 consecutive successful flights so far.
Features: It is a two-stage rocket capable of climbing to a height of 70 km bearing scientific payloads. The first and second stages of RH-200 are powered by solid motors.
Note: The ‘200’ in the name denotes the diameter of the rocket in mm.
What are Sounding Rockets?
Sounding rockets are usually one or two-stage solid propellant rockets. They are primarily intended for probing the upper atmospheric regions using rocket-borne instrumentation.
They also serve as platforms for testing prototypes of new components or subsystems intended for use in launch vehicles and satellites.
History of Sounding Rockets in India
The launch of the first sounding rocket US made ‘Nike Apache’ from Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in 1963 marked the beginning of the Indian Space Programme.
Later days saw the launching of two-stage rockets imported from Russia (M-100) and France (Centaure).
In 1967, ISRO started launching a series of its own sounding rockets named Rohini from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station(TERLS).
RH-75 was the first truly Indian-sounding rocket which was followed by RH-100 and RH-125 rockets.
Currently, the RH200, RH300 MkII and RH560 Mk-III rockets are operational.