While India had lagged far behind developed nations in terms of space tech, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has progressively covered the gap over the last few years.
While India had lagged far behind developed nations in terms of space tech, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has progressively covered the gap over the last few years. ISRO, which had successfully launched satellites to activate its regional navigation system and a reusable launch vehicle earlier this year, achieved yet another feat on Thursday as it successfully tested its indigenous cryogenic engine. While the space agency had successfully tested the engine two years ago, GSLV F05 carrying a payload of 2,211 kg INSAT-3DR weather satellite was the first commercial launch using cryogenic upper stage technology.
The breakthrough makes the country the sixth nation apart from the US, Russia, France, Japan and China to possess cryogenic engine technology, which uses liquid hydrogen as a fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidiser. While India—which embarked on a cryogenic-adoption path in 1992—had been using Russian engines since 2001, it had also started in-house development. Though a big achievement in itself, this would also propel ISRO’s plans to launch larger satellites to farther destinations as cryogenic engines are more efficient. It also paves the way for India to launch its second mission to the moon, the Chandrayaan 2.