India moved a step closer to launching its heaviest satellite — GSLV Mk-III — into the orbit when the high thrust cryogenic rocket engine was successfully tested for 800 seconds by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
This is India’s first such indigenously developed engine and it successfully endured the hot test at the Isro Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, on July 16.
The actual launch of GSLV Mk-III is slated for 2016. The engine will be used to power the Cryogenic stage (C25), the upper stage of the next generation GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle that can launch four tonne class satellites.
In another boost to India’s space programme, the Isro had successfully demonstrated its capability to launch its heaviest rocket, GSLV-Mark III, from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, in December last year.
This new rocket will be capable of doubling the capacity of payloads India can carry into space. GSLV Mk-III is conceived and designed to make India self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg. It will also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.
“Mastering this complex, high performance cryogenic propulsion technology will go a long way in building self reliance for the space programme,” a senior Isro official said.