Sunday, April 11, 2010

Success of cryogenic rocket launch will make India a leader in rocketry

The indigenously developed cryogenic rocket, scheduled to be launched on Thursday, involves the highest level of technology and its success will make India one of the world leaders in rocketry, according to a top space scientist.

"It's actually going to be a major milestone, and it's one of the path-breaking development that we have done," former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation G Madhavan Nair who has been involved in the project said.

"Without anybody's assistance, India has really developed the cryogenic technology. We have set our goals and worked for it and we have achieved it. (It's) Not to show about our strength and things like that," he said.

The former secretary in the department of space and ex-chairman of the Space Commission said with the select band of countries which had mastered the technology not ready to share technology with India, New Delhi had no option but to go in for indigenous development in the mid-1990s.

In the first half of 1990s, when India sought to acquire cryogenic technology from Russia, the US successfully exerted pressure on Moscow not to part with it.

India subsequently used five of the seven "ready-made" cryogenic stages supplied by Russia in the homegrown GSLV flights.

After one-and-half decades of research and development, India is now set to flight-test the home-made cryogenic stage and engine in the GSLV-D3 flight scheduled to be launched from the Sriharikota spaceport on April 15.

In his tenure as the director of ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre from 1995-99, India's efforts towards indigenous development of cryogenic technology took concrete shape and vital infrastructures were built and critical technologies were developed.

Nair, who has accomplished 25 successful missions during his six year tenure as Chairman of ISRO before retirement last year, also echoed the nervousness of ISRO scientists ahead of the ambitious mission.

"....but at the same time, one has to be really concerned about the first flight. Anxiety is there", he said but added that whatever needs to be done has been done, including qualification tests and various reviews by experts. "We hope that the flight will be alright".

Nair said development of cryogenic technology was a challenging job. "Our engineers and scientists have toiled and they have really mastered the technology".

"This is the highest levels of technology in rocket," Nair said. "So, that way we are mastering that. I think we are becoming one of the world leaders in rocketry," he said.

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