By Radhakrishna Rao in Bangalore

eparations are under way for a mid-August test of India’s indigenously developed cryogenic engine, which is intended to replace the Russian-supplied upper stage of the three-stage Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

R V Perumal, director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), says that current plans call for a GSLV flight scheduled for lift-off next year to use the new upper stage engine.

Meanwhile, facilities are being set up at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) on Srihairkota island off India’s eastern coast to support launches of the GSLV-Mk III vehicle, which is expected to be ready by the end of the decade.

The additions at Satish include a storage and assembly building and spacecraft preparation facility capable of handling 4t-class payloads. The GSLV-Mk III will be a three-stage vehicle capable of placing a 4t satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.

ISRO was last week preparing to launch the Insat-4C – the heaviest satellite in the Insat series – during the second week of July. The 2,180kg (4,800lb) satellite is equipped with 12 high-power Ku-band transponders and will be orbited by a GSLV.

This will be the first flight of the GSLV with the Russian-supplied upper stage. Insat satellites have previously been orbited by Europe’s Arianespace.

Source: Flight International