GSLV's Desi Cryo Engine Ends Jinx; India in Elite Club

SRO had finally overcome a demon that had dogged it for a long time. The successful mission on Sunday meant the space agency now has a grip on cryogenic engine technology.

Published: 06th January 2014 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2014 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

GSLV 5_PTI

The Command Centre at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota erupted in joy as scientists rushed to congratulate each other in uncharacteristic jubilation. The success being celebrated was uncharacteristi­c too, for, ISRO had finally overcome a demon that had dogged it for a long time. The successful mission on Sunday meant the space agency now has a grip on cryogenic engine technology.

The first wave of cheer came as soon as the indigenously developed cryogenic engine ignited successfully, and the scientists clapped wildly. But, they settled down quickly, for there were still 12 critical minutes during which the cryogenic engine would have to continue working properly. It performed flawlessly, bringing a wave of unadulterated glee.

The successful launch was a milestone for the troubled GSLV platform. Mission after mission had failed in the past. After the last failure on December 25, 2010, ISRO made design changes to ensure it would be vindicated for the three-year gap till the next mission.

“I am really proud to say that ISRO has done it,” declared chairman K Radhakrishnan. “The Indian cryogenic engine has performed as expected and has injected GSAT-14 into orbit precisely. This is the culmination of 20 years of hard work and three-and-a-half years of excruciating efforts,” he said, before paying tribute to former ISRO chairmen and staff who had struggled to get cryogenic technology right. With one victory under its belt, ISRO is now confident of making it a habit. “The vehicle (GSLV) has reached a level of maturity. The critical part was the cryogenic stage. One more flight, and we should be able to raise it to the reliability level of PSLV,” said S Ramakrishnan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. 

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