The development of Cryogenic Upper Stage for Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) crossed one more milestone today (March 30, 2002) with the successful test firing of the indigenous cryogenic engine for a duration of 12 minutes. The test was carried out at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) Test complex at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. This hot test was preceded, in the last few weeks, by four shorter duration tests of 10, 40, 40 and 200 seconds.

This turbo-pump fed regeneratively cooled engine produces a nominal thrust of 7.0 tonne in vacuum. The required test facilities were established specifically to test the cryogenic engine consisting of feed systems for handling liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, instrumentation and data acquisition system with attendant safety devices. Number of chill-down trials and simulation tests were conducted before the actual hot firing of this engine.

The cryogenic engine development has been a challenging task with breakthroughs needed with respect to many disciplines including analytical tools, material characterization, fabrication processes, test facility establishment, handling of cryogenic fluids and finalization of test sequence.

LPSC, the lead centre for the liquid propulsion systems is responsible for the realization of the engine and stage, fluid system and associated test facilities. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, is responsible for the development of pyrogen ignitors, pyrotechnic devices and analysis software. Indian industries have significantly contributed in the realization of the cryogenic engine.