Mastering a complex technology once denied to India, the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO crossed an important milestone today when it successfully tested the country’s latest and most powerful cryogenic engine for 800 seconds. The cryogenic engine will power ISRO’s next generation monster rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, capable of carrying the 8 ton class of satellites to space.
Today’s full duration test gives ISRO the confidence to start planning for the first full flight of GSLV Mk III slated for 2016.Last year on December 18, 2014, India had successfully flight-tested a mock-up of GSLV Mk III without the cryogenic engine. ISRO already uses a smaller version of the cryogenic engine on its GSLV MK-II rockets. The smaller engine was first tested successfully on January 5, 2014, but is not as powerful as the cryogenic engine tested today.
When the country does finally fulfil the long cherished dream of launching Indian astronauts from Indian soil using Indian rockets, the GSLV is expected to be rocket that will be used. Scientists at ISRO say they will take seven years from the time that they get a go-ahead from the government, to make that possible.