Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has dispatched special steel plates rolled in its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) that would be used in the satellite launch vehicle (SLV) for India’s first Human Space Mission programme, Gaganyaan.
SAIL-BSP has been contributing to India's space programme of launching satellites at regular intervals by rolling MDN 250 slabs supplied by Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) into 9.3 mm thick plates at Bhilai’s Plate Mill. The plates had been used in outer motor casing of PSLV and GSLV satellite launch vehicles of ISRO, including SLV used for launching Chandrayaan.
The BSP spokesperson said the latest lot of 40 tonnes of MIDHANI slabs was rolled in presence of senior officials of MIDHANI and Vikram Sarabhai Space Research Centre (VSRC).
The first lot of slabs from MIDHANI was rolled at Bhilai's Plate Mill in October 2009 while second in February 2012. In recent times, BSP has taken up rolling of MDN 250 slabs on regular basis. Around 42 T of slabs supplied by MIDHANI was reheated and successfully rolled into plates of 9.3 mm thickness in January 2018.
Rolling of maraging steel MDN 250 was also taken up in 2019. Rolling was successfully done in January 2019 in presence of senior officials from MIDHANI and VSRC. Subsequently, rolling was again done in July 19 and September 19.
While around 102 Tonnes of MDN slabs were rolled into plates and supplied during entire fiscal year 2018-19, 148 Tonnes of this grade of plates have so far been rolled in current fiscal year 2019-20, including the latest lot rolled in February 2020, for use to launch India’s first Human Space Mission programme, Gaganyaan.