Cryogenic Engine for Rocket Undergoes Crucial Test

If things go as planned, the CE-20 will power the upper stage of the GSLV Mk-III for the first time in December this year.

Published: 20th February 2016 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2016 06:28 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The high-performance India-made cryogenic engine meant for the hefty GSLV Mk-III rocket (LVM3) successfully underwent a 640-second firing at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu, on Friday evening, ISRO officials said here on Friday.

ISRO chairman S Kiran Kumar, who attended the test, commented that it was "a phenomenal achievement in the shortest time. Fully indigenous cryogenic engine development for GSLV MkIII and a major step towards GSLV Mk-III launch in December 2016." The engine had already undergone two short duration tests. The test was conducted with Mixture Ratio Controller (MRC) in a closed loop mode for the flight duration of 640 seconds, the ISRO said in a statement here.

This is the second cryo engine on which the hot tests are being conducted. A third engine identified for actual flight use will soon undergo tests at Mahendragiri soon. ISRO had first successfully used an indigenously-built cryogenic engine for the GSLV Mk-II rocket on January 5, 2014. But that engine, designated CE-7.5, is a less powerful version of the CE-20 meant for the bigger GSLV Mk-III.

If things go as planned, the CE-20 will power the upper stage of the GSLV Mk-III for the first time in December this year. Developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion

Systems Centre (LPSC), the CE-20 uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as propellant.

Earlier, Kiran Kumar had said that the upper stage tests of the GSLV Mk-III would be conducted in two months.

India’s own GPS

ISRO is gearing up for two major missions on March 10 and March 31 marking the completion of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), dubbed India’s own GPS. ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the two remaining satellites in the IRNSS series- IRNSS-1F and IRNSS-IG - will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota spaceport. The indigenously developed network will provide service for the Indian sub-continent and approximately 1,500 km around the country. The first of the seven satellites, IRNSS-IA, had been launched on July 1, 2013.


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