Indian space scientists have reached a new galaxy with the successful test of the indigenous cryogenic stage which powers the gigantic Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
Indians have joined an exclusive league of scientists — from the US, Russia and Europe — who have the capability to design and build cryogenic engines which are critical for hoisting communication satellites as well as manned missions to space.
<b1>The test was conducted for its full flight duration of 720 seconds at the liquid propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu, on Thursday. With the successful completion of this test, the next flight of GSLV mid-2008 would be a cent per cent indigenous effort. “This test has given us confidence about the technology, systems and even helped us build a technology base of our own. It has also given the confidence to design a more powerful cryogenic for GSLV-Mark III scheduled to fly in 2009-end,” said ISRO head G. Madhavan Nair.
He said with such an engine, his organisation would be able to reduce the cost of launch of heavy satellites from about $20,000 a kg to about $12,000 a kg. “It will not only help our space programme but we will be able to bid for a slice of the global satellite launch market,” Mr Nair said.