New space engine ready to move from drawing board

Thursday, 24 July 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: India has moved one step further in its space odyssey to the moon with the announcement that the design for the next series of launch vehicles was ready.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) declared Wednesday that designs for the Mark 3 engines for the next GSLV that launches geo-synchronised satellites into space, were complete.

The engine is being made and tested at the Liquid Propulsion System Centre at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu.

"The Mark 3 engine in GSLVs will lead the country into self-sufficiency in space launches," ISRO said in a statement from Nagercoil.

India is already testing its own cryogenic system and experimenting with solid and liquid fuels.

The Mark 3 engine is a highly efficient engine capable of driving a 4,500 kg satellite into orbit. At present, India has the capability to put satellites upto 2,000 kg into space.

The indigenously developed engine has a two-stage structure, liquid propellant and cryogenic.

Scientists are of the view that the development of the GSLV Mark 3 will elevate India to the next stage of its moon programme.

The first moon vehicle India wants to place will be an unmanned vehicle requiring a very powerful engine to send it into orbit. Scientists consider the success of the GSLV Mark 3 as the first concrete step in its moon odyssey.

The first of the GSLVs, GSLV-D1 was successfully tested in April 18, 2001. GSLV-D2 was tested on May 8, 2003.

Source: IANS
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