Sunday, January 05, 2014

GSLV-D5 & Cryogenic Engine Successful

The GSLV-D5 mission has been carried out successfully, with the indigenous upper stage cryogenic engine working perfectly and delivering GSAT-14 into geosynchronous orbit. Now that ISRO has passed this hurdle and has mastered liquid hydrogen propulsion after 20 years of hard work, India can finally move on to bigger missions, especially once it validates the GSLV Mark-III. The new cryogenic engine will enable missions to geosynchronous orbit, as well as too the Moon and Mars. India will now be fully competitive in the commercial satellite launch market.

It's also worth mentioning that while China also has rockets with cryogenic engines, they only use the less sophisticated and less efficient gas-generator technology. India's cryogenic engine uses staged combustion technology, which is much more advanced, much more efficient and more difficult to achieve. The engine also includes thrust variability and restart capability. ISRO is working to further improve this cryogenic engine, to uprate its performance from the current 73kN to a higher 90kN of thrust.

Ironically, India's next upcoming rocket, the larger GSLV-Mk3 will use the cheaper and less sophisticated gas-generator technology for its cryogenic upper stage engine.


Jatin said...

Watched it live - it was indeed heartening to see the scientists and engineers celebrating and feeling proud for their achievement!

vtpcnk said...

isn't it suspicious the way the cryogenic engine is suddenly ready right after nambi narayanan's disclosure about cia being behind the isro case? did india already have the technology but were not allowed to come into the open by the political establishment?

san said...

Yeah, they really deserve praise for this. From a technology standpoint, this is one of the most advanced rocket engines in the world. Even the Americans don't have an indigenous engine based on staged combustion (instead they buy them from Russia, as part of their deal to prevent the technology transfer to India.)

I should also correct something - this latest launch has actually demonstrated the higher 90kN thrust, which can be seen in the plotgraph of the launch video when the thrust actually shifts from 7.5 up to 9.0 tons and then back.