India’s ISRO Successfully Tests Indigenous Engine For GSLV Launcher
By Srinivas Laxman | Top News
May 15, 2012
India’s trouble-prone Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle program crossed an important milestone on May 12 with the successful testing of its indigenous cryogenic engine.
AsianScientist (May 15, 2012) – India’s trouble-prone GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) program crossed an important milestone on May 12 with the successful testing of its indigenous cryogenic engine.
A brief ISRO announcement said that “the acceptance test of the engine for the forthcoming GSLV-D5 flight was conducted successfully for 200 seconds at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Center in Mahendragiri, Tamilnadu.”
It said that the performance of the engine had conformed to the predictions.
The engine will be in the third stage of the rocket. The three-stage vehicle will ferry the four-ton class communication satellites to the geosynchronous transfer orbit.
The success of the engine is significant as the maiden flight of the indigenous cryogenic engine on board the GSLV-D3 failed in May 2010. Minutes after take off the rocket plunged into the Bay of Bengal, causing a huge disappointment to the Indian space community.
The failure particularly disappointed scientists of ISRO’s Space Applications Center at Ahmedabad because after years of effort, they saw their scientific payloads heading towards the sea instead of the sky.
At that time, many of them said that since it was the first flight of the GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic engine, ISRO should have used dummy payloads instead of regular ones.
ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan has been quoted as saying that that there will be two more tests of the engine before it powers India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, tentatively slated for lift off in 2014.
Plans also envisage launching a GSLV flight in the September-October 2012 time frame with the indigenous engine. There could be two such flights before the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
The earlier flights of the GSLV had used a Russian engine. In December 2010, a GSLV flight failed – the second one in a span of five months – because of a snag with the Russian engine.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: ISRO.
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