ISRO Clears Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan Human Spaceflights

  • 22 Feb 2024

On 21st February, 2024, ISRO announced the qualification and certification of the key cryogenic engine for India's Gaganyaan missions.

Key Points

  • Milestone in Human Spaceflight: ISRO confirms the readiness of the CE20 cryogenic engine, a crucial component of the LVM3 launch vehicle, for Gaganyaan missions aimed at transporting humans into space.
  • Gaganyaan Mission Objectives: India's Gaganyaan mission aims to send a three-member crew into a 400km orbit for three days before safely returning to Earth, with the first unmanned mission scheduled for mid-2024.
  • Role of LVM3 Launch Vehicle: The LVM3 heavy lift launcher, equipped with solid, liquid, and cryogenic stages.
  • It is designated for Gaganyaan missions, offering the necessary capabilities for crewed spaceflight.
  • Successful Vacuum Tests: The CE20 cryogenic engine underwent its seventh vacuum test on February 14. This validates its performance during the critical cryogenic stage of liftoff.
  • Human-Rating Certification: ISRO attains a major milestone by human-rating the CE20 engine, surpassing the required standard time for testing under various operational conditions.
  • Flight Engine Acceptance: The flight engine designated for the inaugural Gaganyaan mission has completed acceptance tests. This shows its capability to deliver thrust and ensure mission success.
  • Comprehensive Mission Preparation: ISRO's efforts extend beyond engine qualification, encompassing the development of life support systems, crew management protocols, and precursor missions to ensure readiness for manned spaceflight.
  • Technological Advancements: The proposed Gaganyaan mission entails significant technological advancements, including crew safety provisions, training protocols, and recovery mechanisms, to ensure mission success and crew well-being.
  • Future Endeavors: ISRO's progress in certifying the cryogenic engine underscores India's commitment to advancing its space capabilities and realizing ambitious space exploration goals, including crewed missions to space.