Bangalore (ISJ): Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO successfully tested its indigenous cryogenic engine, which powers the GSLV-D5 on Monday (Jan 06), a day after its launch. GSLV-D5 is carrying a communication satellite GSAT-14 to boost India?s communication services, including tele-education and telemedicine. ISRO?s Master Control Facility at Hassan, Karnataka, which took over the control and command of GSAT-14 after a text-book launch, also carried out the first orbit raising operation of the satellite,
by firing Apogee Motor for 3,134 seconds today to push it further away from Earth to a Perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 8,966 km and Apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,744 km ? the first of a three-phased operation to place the satellite in geostationary orbit. The next orbit raising operations are planned on January 7 and 9, 2014. "The solar panels of the satellite were deployed as planned, the satellite health was found normal and the satellite was oriented towards the Sun," said an ISRO release on Monday. With this, India joins the select club of countries which mastered the cryogenic technology. Earlier, India sourced seven cryogenic engines from Russia for the earlier phase of GSLV programme, which began in 2001, but felt the necessity to develop its own cryogenic engine braving the technology denial regime after the 1998 Pokharan nuclear test. Cryogenics, the science of extremely low temperatures, has posed a challenge to rocket scientists across the world. A cryogenic engine uses a cryogenic fuel or oxidiser or both are gases liquefied and stored in low temperatures. The successful launch of GSLV-D5 was achieved after two earlier attempts in April 2010 and August 2013 had to be called off following detection of leak in the liquid fuel tank. Scientists and engineers had to refurbish the launch vehicle - redesigning the Lower Shroud, which protects the cryogenic engine during atmospheric flight of GSLV-D5 and redesigning of the wire tunnel of the cryo stage to withstand larger forces during flight. "Toiling of 20 years, excruciating efforts of the last three-and-a-half years after the first test flight of the cryogenic engine and stage and all the efforts by the team ISRO for the last few years have paid off," remarked Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, ISRO chief after the successful blast off from the space port at Sriharikota in southern Andhra Pradesh. GSLV-D5 is the eighth flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV. It is also the fourth developmental flight of GSLV, launching the 1982 kg communication satellite GSAT-14 into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSAT-14 is the 23rd geostationary communication satellite built by ISRO. With the launch, GSAT-14 joins the group of India?s nine operational geostationary satellites. It will augment the in-orbit capacity of extended C and Ku-band transponders and provide a platform for new experiments. With the successful test of home-made cryogenic engine and launch of GSLV-D5, ISRO is expected to go ahead with its second mission to Moon ? Chandrayaan 2, where it plans to land a rover on the lunar surface.