India is gearing up to launch the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D3) that is to be powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine. The launch will happen on 15 April, 2010 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Read our earlier story about the upcoming GSLV-D3 cryogenic engine
With the launch of GSLV-D3, India will join the elite club of five nations – the US, Russia, France, Japan and China – who currently boast of cryogenic technology. ISRO, while launching the advanced GSAT-4 satellite onboard the GSLV -D3 rocket, will demonstrate the indigenously made cryogenic engine upper stage technology. Related story: Chandrayaan launch
GSLV-D3 will carry the advanced communication satellite – the GSAT- 4 in the mission. The cryogenic engine for the Rs 175-crore GSLV-D3 is believed to have capabilities to provide double the power to lift-off as against the existing capacity of rockets. The cryogenic engine is explained as a rocket motor designed to maintain liquid fuels in liquid form at temperatures much below Zero degree Celsius. Cryogenic engine components get cooled in such a way that the liquid fuel does not boil to a gaseous state while being fed to the engine. The sudden expansion from liquid to gas with the gas emerging from the motor at very high speed propels the rocket.
Significant about the new technology is that the cryogenic engine has been designed and fabricated by Indian engineers. India has spent about Rs 335 crore in the development of the indigenous cryogenic engine and stage, said ISRO officials.
The development of the technology indigenously has come about due to the pressure exerted by the US on Russia to stay away from providing cryogenic technology to India. India had begun developing cryogenic engines way back in 1992. Though Russia had supplied as many as seven engines earlier, India has used only five of them. The India made Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) would be deployed in place of Russian cryogenic stage employed so far.