C32 LH2 Propellant tank: Key Highlights

C32 LH2 is the largest-ever cryogenic propellant tank developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It was delivered to ISRO recently. It is designed to increase the payload capability of ISRO’S Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) from 4 tonnes to 6 tonnes. The aim is to create self-reliance with regards to carrying heavier communication satellites into space.

About C32 LH2 Tank

It is a cryogenic propellant tank made of aluminium alloy. The tank can load 5,755 kilo grams of propellant fuel.

Currently, India is dependent on French Guiana to launch heavier communication satellites (of 5 to 6 tonnes). C32 LH2 will put an end to India’s dependence on a foreign country and will boost its self-reliance.

What are Cryogenic fuels?

Cryogenic means low temperature.

They are fuels that requires extremely low storage temperature. They are generally used in space as the temperature is low. Thus, the space environment cannot support combustion. And therefore, highly low temperature fuels are needed. Usually the cryogenic engines use liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidiser. This is because oxygen can be kept in liquid state that is below -183 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the liquid hydrogen is kept at -253 degree Celsius. Liquid Oxygen is highly reactive and can be used as a propellant to carry heavy loads.

How did India acquire Cryogenic Technology?

India obtained the Cryogenic technology from the Russians. In 1991, the Soviet Union agreed to transfer the technology to ISRO. The other countries such as US, Japan, Europe and China were hesitant to share the technology with India.

Significance of Cryogenic Technology

The technology helps in space advancements. The cryogenic fuels are highly economical as they are light in weight. Cryogenic Technology is clean as the only by products released are oxygen and hydrogen. The technology will help India become a space power.

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