India successfully tests cryogenic rocket engine

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the first test of the indigenously built cryogenic rocket engine had been a success.

Currently, only the United States, Russia, the European Space Agency, China and Japan have successfully developed cryogenic engines, which use rocket fuel and oxidiser stored in a liquified form at very low temperatures.

The test was carried out at ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

ISRO chairman Madhavan Nair said that the trial had lasted 50 seconds and had been "very successful". He termed it "a major milestone in the development of rocket systems in the country", adding that India has now "qualified" to a stage which only developed countries have managed to reach.

Nair, who is also the secretary of the Space Commission and the chairman of the Department of Space, said that a longer test would have to be carried out within a month, to ensure that the rocket is ready for flight. The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, where the trial was conducted, is working to develop liquid and cryogenic propulsion engines for rockets and auxiliary propulsion systems for both rockets and satellites.