India has made a breakthrough towards developing an indigenous cryogenic engine to replace the upper stage of the three-stage Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), with a 12min test firing of its 16,875lb- (75kN) thrust CUSP liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen engine.

The cryogenic engine underwent hot tests last month at the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre in Mahendragiri. Four tests of up to 200s had already been run.

The GSLV first flew last August, with a Russian upper stage. The Indian engine could fly on the third GSLV next year, says ISRO.

Meanwhile, ISRO has successfully ground tested a high-performance solid fuel booster for its four-stage, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The motor will allow the PSLV to launch a meteorological satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit. The PSLV has been designed to launch 1t-class Earth observation satellites into a polar/sun-synchronous orbit, but is also being promoted as a means of carrying small satellites into low and medium Earth orbits as piggyback payloads.

Source: Flight International