In a major milestone towards successful development of the super heavy GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, ISRO today successfully tested the High Thrust Cryogenic Engine, the same engine which will power GSLV Mk III’s most complex stage, the cryogenic stage.

The Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle Mk III, or more popularly known as the GSLV Mk III is the 3rd generation of launch rockets under ISRO’s GSLV series of launch vehicles. It is the most heaviest of all, will carry satellites upto the geosynchronous orbit, and more importantly, is being developed for India’s planned first human space mission.

The under-development launch vehicle will be able to carry a massive 8,000 Kgs. of payload to the low-earth orbit, while carrying 4,000 Kgs. to the geo-stationary orbit. In comparison to other western launch vehicles, the GSLV can be compared with European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 launch rocket and SpaceX’s much talked about Falcon 9.

The current test of ISRO’s High Thrust Cryogenic Engine was achieved on successful long duration hot test (635 seconds) of high thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) on 28-04-2015 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The CE20 cryogenic engine is being indigenously developed by ISRO to power the cryogenic stage of GSLV MkIII launch vehicle.

ISRO, announcing the successful launch via a Facebook post, says,

The completion of successful long duration hot test has once again proved ISRO’s capability in mastering the complex cryogenic technology. All subsystems of this engine such as Thrust Chamber, Injector, Gas Generator, LOX & LH2 Turbopumps, Control Components, Pyro systems etc., and the ground Test Facility systems performed very well and the parameters are well within the prediction.

A series of development tests on this engine are being carried out to validate the performance and to prove the design of the engine. Two cold start tests and four short duration hot tests were already carried out on this engine at IPRC, Mahendragiri.


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