Following the successful launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is slated to launch a kerosene-based semi-cryogenic engine, projected to be functional for flight tests by 2021. The envisioned engine uses refined kerosene as a propellant, as opposed to the conventional combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. However, liquid oxygen will still function as the oxidizer. An eco-friendly alternative, kerosene can be used after storing at a normal temperature, while the previous liquid hydrogen had to be stored at (-)253 degree Celsius.
“The idea is to replace the second stage of the GSLV Mk-III, which now uses a liquid stage, with the semi-cryo. The rocket will retain the cryogenic upper, third stage. The advantage of inducing the semi-cryogenic stage is the payload capacity of the GSLV Mk-III will increase from four tons to six tons. The ability to launch higher payload is commercially enticing proposition as well and put India among a select few countries with that capability,” Group Captain Ajey Lele (Retd.), Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, told Sputnik.
Earlier on June 5, India launched the GSLV Mark III carrying the 3,136kg GSAT-19 communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.