India begins tests of larger rocket engine

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The competition heats up: Indian engineers have successfully completed their first tests of a new more powerful upper stage engine for their biggest launch rocket.

Taking a big step forward in the development of bigger and more powerful locally-built rocket engines, the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) on Monday successfully conducted the first ‘cold flow test’ on the CE-20 cryogenic engine, which will power the upper stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV-Mk III). “It’s a milestone,” LPSC director Dr K Sivan told ‘Express’ here on Tuesday, confirming that the test had gone as planned at the LPSC facility in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The first ‘hot test’ – where the engine will be fired for a few seconds- will be performed in three weeks’ time, Sivan said.

In a cold test, the propellants are not ignited. On Monday, the fuel, Liquid Hydrogen (LH2), and the oxidiser, Liquid Oxygen (LOX), were injected into the chambers for the checking of various parameters.

In related news, Mangalyaan has taken another global view of Mars.


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