Bangalore: ISRO is preparing to launch a
geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-D3), powered for
the first time by a home-made cryogenic engine, from
Sriharikota spaceport this month, its chief K Radhakrishnan
"Preparations are going on. The final reviews are also
taking place. It could be any day from April 15 (at around
16.30 hours), which is the first available opportunity", he
GSLV-D3 would carry on board GSAT-4 experimental
satellite in which ISRO is also testing some new things.
He said the indigenous development of complex
cryogenic rocket technology after years of effort is a reply
to technology denial regimes and termed the endeavour
"Significance in terms of (cryogenic) technology
development has been a marvellous thing", he said.
"In 1992, we wanted to get this technology from
Russia, and the Americans put a sanction on Russia not to
transfer this technology and India took a bold decision to
develop it. So, we have done it", he said.
>"This is a flight-testing of that (indigenous
cryogenic) stage," Radhakrishnan said.
Indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS)
being used for the first time in GSLV-D3 is fully qualified
having undergone the full flight duration test of 800 seconds
successfully. The indigenous CUS would be used in place of
Russian cryogenic stage employed so far in GSLV.
"The development of cryogenic engines involves
mastering several complex disciplines such as materials
technology, operating rotary pumps and turbines that run at
42,000 rpm at cryogenic temperatures. The development of
cryogenic technology in the country has given the coveted
status of total self-reliance in launch vehicle technology",
ISRO conducted previous GSLV flights with the help of
readymade cryogenic engines procured from Russia earlier.
"GSAT-4 is the only payload (to be carried by
GSLV-D3). But GSAT-4 contains several payloads. We are getting
into Ka-band transponder system there, and we are also having
a small payload for the satellite navigation for augmenting
the GPS system that is GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented
Navigation)," Radhakrishnan said.
ISRO is also trying electric propulsion system for the
first time. "Instead of using liquid fuel for station-keeping,
here you are using electric propulsions", he said, noting the
move would enable the agency to extend the life of satellites
by a couple of years.
"This is a new technology. First time, we are trying
it," he said.