BANGALORE: India can do without Russian cryogenic rocket technology for its geostationary Launch vehicle (GSLY) as it is well on its way to developing an indigenous cryogenic engine according to the Indian Space Research Organizations scientific secretary Prof M.G. Chandrasekhar.

In an exclusive brief to OUN Day mail Prof. Chandra Shekar said the indigenous cryogenic engine development has reached an advanced stage at the Vikram Sarabha space center and a full-scale mock-up had already been built Structure tests were being conducted on it. The only reason which the Russians were approached was to help speed up the Indian engines development to validate the structural design of the GSLV by fitting a tried and true upper state motor (the Russian engine) to the first Indian geostationary satellite launcher The GSLV will put India in the super league of nations having the highly profitable geo-stationary satellite launcher technology that pats the INSAT class of multipurpose communication satellites into space.

Prof. Chandrasekhar said “the Americans were wrong in trying to block the Russian engine technology sale particularly because the American company General Dynamics had earlier agreed to provide us with the cryogenic engine technology at more than twice the $200 million that the Russians were charging.”

Threatening the Russians with trade sanctions if it gave the cryogenic engine to India now smacked of a hypocritical attitude.

Why was the threat of missile proliferation not foreseen where the Americans were lobbying along with the French to try and sell cryogenic engines to India The French and American offers had been rejected purely because they cost much more than the Russian proposal

The senior ISRO scientist said the GSLV cryogenic engine cannot be used in missile development as missiles used conventional liquid engines which need a lesser pre-launch preparation time but provides lower thrust than the cryogenic engine. In shape structure and launch weight a typical GSLY could be similar to an intercontinental ballistic missile but the similarity ends there.

Prof. Chandrasekhar said even if the Russian technology does not come then it will not have much of an impact on the Indian cryogenic engine development. As we will have our own engine within the next two or three years.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996