19 Dec : The Union Cabinet approved development of Semi Cryogenic Engine technology at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,798 crores with a foreign exchange component of Rs. 588 crores. The objective is designing, fabricating and testing this advanced technology in India in six years time. This will be an important step towards self-reliance in advanced space transportation technology for India.
Storable liquid stages of PSLV and GSLV engines used presently release harmful products to the environment. The trend worldwide is to change over to eco-friendly propellants. Liquid engines working with cryogenic propellants (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen) and semi cryogenic engines using liquid oxygen and kerosene are considered relatively environment friendly, non-toxic and non corrosive. In addition, the propellants for semi-cryogenic engine are safer to handle & store. It will also reduce the cost of launch operations.
This advanced propulsion technology is now available only with Russia and USA. India capability to meet existing mission requirements. The semi cryogenic engine will facilitate applications for future space missions such as the Reusable Launch Vehicle, Unified Launch Vehicle and vehicle for interplanetary missions.