Chetak is a revered name in India. It was the name of the horse ridden by the legendary Rajput warrior king, Maharana Pratap. As the legend goes, the horse gave it’s life to save the life of an injured Maharana Pratap during the battle of Haldighati.
Bajaj Auto named its Piaggio derived scooter after the legendary horse. This scooter was the second name for reliability and sturdiness. Chetak meant mobility for the Indian middle class till the mid nineties. And now, the name is being used by another company for a reliable and cheap vehicle for placing nano satellites in sun synchronous orbit.
The Chetak is a two stage rocket developed by Bellatrix Aerospace, a Bengaluru based company. Out of the two stages of Chetak, the first stage is reusable. The rocket can place satellites weighing up to 150 Kg in 700 km sun synchronous orbit. The Chetak is capable of placing multiple satellites in orbit in a single mission.
The Chetak weighs 12,000 Kg, is 19 m long and has a diameter of 1.4 m. The payload fairing has a height of 3 m and diameter of 2m.
The first stage of Chetak will use four Aeon engines, each capable of generating 41kN of thrust. Thus this stage will generate a total thrust of 164kN. This stage is designed for multiple restarts. The Aeon engine will feature turbo-pumps driven by Brushless DC motors power by advanced batteries. This will eliminate the need for complex turbo-machinery and plumbing.
The second stage of Chetak will use a single Aeon engine. This stage is optimized for vacuum operation at a down rated 21kN thrust. This stage is also designed for multiple restarts. Both the stages use liquid methane as fuel.