The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 28 April 2015 successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine CE-20 at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. This engine will enable scientists to put satellites of up to the capacity of four tonnes in geostationary orbit.
The engine will also give boost to India’s interplanetary probes and manned space missions. 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
• A cryogenic engine uses Hydrogen as fuel, stored at minus 253 degrees Celsius and liquid oxygen as oxidizer at minus 183 degrees Celsius.
• It can develop the thrust needed in the final state of the rocket to put satellites, weighing two tonnes or more, into a geosynchronous orbit.
• 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.
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When: 28 April 2015