The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 19 February 2016 successfully tested high-thrust cryogenic engine CE-20 at its Propulsion Research Centre in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
The successful hotbed test lasted 640 seconds and paved the way for the first developmental flight of the GSLV Mark 3 in December 2016.
The GSLV Mark 3, the biggest rocket made in India, will be capable of launching 4-tonne satellites into geosynchronous orbit.
So far India's GSLVs were being powered by cryogenic engines given by Russia. But this development marks a milestone in the country's effort to develop a big cryogenic engine to fly satellites of up to five tonnes.
About Cryogenic Engine
• It uses Hydrogen as fuel, stored at minus 253 degrees Celsius and liquid oxygen as oxidizer at minus 193 degrees Celsius.
• The CE-20 has been developed at the Liquid Propulsion System centre (LPSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
• It can develop the thrust needed in the final stage of the rocket to put satellites, weighing two tonnes or more, into a geosynchronous orbit.
• It will also give boost to India’s interplanetary probes and manned space missions.
• It is essential to master this technology for any space power as launching heavier satellites requires cryogenic engines even in the lower stages of the rocket.
India has been on a long arduous journey to develop an operational indigenous cryogenic engine which began around 30 years ago.
The first success came in January 2014 when India successfully launched GSLV-D5, marking the first successful launch of a vehicle with an indigenous cryogenic engine. But at present, India can only launch satellites of up to two tonnes.
When: 19 February 2016