The Indian Space Research Organisation has embarked on a programme to induct semi-cryogenic engines, which will use kerosene as fuel, and this engine will form the booster for its future launch vehicles, ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said on Sunday.

The Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark III), which was under development, would put a four-tonne satellite in geo-synchronous transfer orbit. The ISRO had embarked on a human space programme, and it planned to put two Indians in space in an orbit around the earth in seven years, he said, speaking at the Indian Science Congress here.

Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, said a second research centre of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre would be set up at Visakhapatnam because the BARC, Trombay, was expanding in a big way. The Visakhaptnam centre would concentrate on energy science and environment.

Besides generation of nuclear power, the Department of Atomic Energy’s mandate was to conduct basic research in physics, chemistry, mathematics and material sciences, Dr. Banerjee said. It was also concentrating on desalination, food irradiation to increase the shelf life of food products, tissue culture and mutant seeds. The BARC-developed varieties of pulses and oilseeds were popular.

V.K. Saraswat, Director-General, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said the DRDO was working on hypersonic cruise missiles, which would fly at several Mach. It had developed an engine for missiles that worked on kerosene. “High temperature materials will be a major area of our research.”