Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System

The Gaganyaan SMPS, a crucial component of India’s ambitious space project, has successfully completed hot tests, a critical phase in the project’s development. These tests were conducted at the ISRO Propulsion Complex, located in Mahendragiri, and form an integral part of the Service Module – System Demonstration Model Phase-2 test series.

This topic of “Gaganyaan Service Module Propulsion System” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

The System

What is SMPS?

The SMPS is a propulsion system specifically designed to power the service module of the Gaganyaan spacecraft. This module houses the main propulsion engine that is critical for the spacecraft’s maneuvers.

The Orbital Module

The Gaganyaan spacecraft is further equipped with an orbital module that serves as the habitat for the crew while in orbit.


Tasks performed by SMPS

The SMPS is not only responsible for the propulsion of the spacecraft but also plays a crucial role in performing other tasks such as:

  • Orbit injection
  • Spacecraft control
  • De-boosting
  • Abort operations, if required


Who developed SMPS?

The Gaganyaan SMPS was designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion System Centre, which has its operations running in two significant locations in India – Bengaluru and Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram.

The Engines

Liquid Apogee Motor Engines

The main engine of the spacecraft is propelled by the Liquid Apogee Motor engines, which are essentially chemical rocket engines. These engines are controlled by two electrically-driven valves, which provide the required thrust.


The successful testing and implementation of the Gaganyaan SMPS signifies a great leap in India’s space exploration capabilities. The rigorous testing processes and the successful results have showcased India’s ability to develop advanced propulsion systems that could potentially revolutionize space travel.

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