Cryogenic Rocket Engine Technology

A cryogenic rocket engine uses a cryogenic fuel or oxidizer which are both liquefied and stored at very low (cryo) temperatures. This increases the density of the fuel and simplifies tankage.

Why is a cryogenic engine used?

  • In a cryogenic engine, the rocket propellants and oxidizers are cooled sufficiently and exist in the liquid phase which at a relatively higher density.
  • The temperature for storage varies greatly depending on the propellant being used,? in some cases where liquid oxygen is used, temperatures in the range of ?183 ?C? and liquid hydrogen below ?253 ?C? are commonly encountered.
  • Since one or more of the propellants is stored in the liquid phase, all cryogenic rocket engines are referred to as either liquid-propellant rocket engines or hybrid rocket engines.

Why is it in the news?

  • Russia has offered to share with India the cryogenic rocket engine technology for the Gaganyan Project.
  • The Indian Gaganyan project aims to put an Indian in orbit using indigenously developed technology.
  • However, since space launches are a critical procedure and given that Gaganyan is India’s first manned mission, there are several technical challenges that India will need to resolve before the successful launch of the project.
  • Russia’s offer of the semi-cryogenic engine technology and its crucial components will have power the Indian human space capsule.

What else has been offered?

ISRO chairman has also announced that both India and Russia will set up ground stations in each other’s territories to improve the accuracy of their respective satellite systems, the IRNSS, and the GLONASS.