Indigenous cryogenic engine, that developed snags earlier, to be flight tested again

Despite technical snags in the indigenous cryogenic engine that powered the Geo-stationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV, which was flight-tested in April, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to launch Chandrayaan-2 on an indigenous cryogenic engine on schedule by 2013, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan said here on Tuesday.

“We went through a very detailed analysis of what happened and why it happened. We have come to a couple of scenarios as to how such a technical snag could occur; or next task would be to confirm them through testing on the ground,” he said.

The next flight testing of the cryogenic engine would be done about a year later.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was in town for the celebrations of Statistics Day, on the birth anniversary of Professor P.C. Mahalanobis, at the Indian Statistical Institute. The institute as well as the National Sample Survey Organisation are the brainchild of Professor Mahalanobis.

Dr. Radhakrishnan said the ISRO was developing a satellite that would have instruments on board to test traces of greenhouse gases to enable a better understanding of “atmospheric chemistry.” It would be launched in a couple of years

For studying climate change, Dr. Radhakrishnan said several indicators, including those on land, atmosphere and oceans, were identified as essential climate variables. Of these, there were 26 that were best observed through satellite system. Of this, a few were being monitored, but the ISRO would monitor more.

Virtual technology

ISRO was studying the virtual technology that would be needed for India's first manned space mission — a project to put humans on an orbit around the earth at a distance of 275 km above it.

“Essentially we are looking at the crew module and the environmental controls and life support systems — especially at the time of re-entry — on how to withstand the high temperatures. Another area is the crew escape system — if anything happens in the ascent phase, how do you save the crew members,” he said.

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