Countdown for India's ambitious rocket mission begins | india | Hindustan Times
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Countdown for India's ambitious rocket mission begins

india Updated: Apr 13, 2010 15:25 IST
Indian Space Research Organisation

The stage is all set for flight-testing of indigenous cryogenic stage and engine on homegrown rocket GSLV-D3 for the first time as an air of expectancy and anxiety grips the Sriharikota spaceport on the Andhra coast for the ambitious mission.

"A 29-hour countdown is expected to start at 11.27 am on Wednesday for the launch of GSLV-D3 on Thursday at 4.27 pm," Indian Space Research Organisation spokesperson S Satish told PTI in Bangalore.

The testing of the complex cryogenic technology is going to be a major landmark for the country's space programme, and a successful mission would catapult India into the select band of nations -- the US, Russia, France, Japan and China --which had mastered this "highest level" of propulsion technology.

It would make India totally self-reliant in space transportation area, Satish said.

ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan sees this week's GSLV mission a result of 18 years of research and development on cryogenic technology by Indian scientists and engineers.

ISRO took up the indigenous development of cryogenic upper stage and engine after Russia succumbed to US pressure and declined to transfer the technology sought by India.

ISRO flew five of the seven "ready-made" cryogenic stages supplied by Russia in the earlier GSLV flights.