The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to test the semi-cryogenic engine (SCE) in Ukraine, which follows its recent disappointment over the unsuccessful lunar landing.

Once ready for operation, the semi-cryo engine will increase the space research organisation’s carrying capacity from 4t to 6t.

It will also be able to carry the increased capacity all the way up to the geosynchronous orbit, which lies 36,000km above Earth.

In 2005, India and Ukraine signed a framework agreement for cooperation in outer space.

Quoting sources in ISRO, the Hindu Business Line reported that the Rs1.8bn SCE-200 is considered to be a major technological development as it is a complex machine and its creation is as challenging as the Chandrayaan-2.

The cryogenic engine atop of the GSLV rocket has 20t of thrust, making it a little more than a Pratt & Whitney 1000G engine equipped in an A320 aircraft. This is because the cryogenic engine does not carry heavy loads as the lifting is done by the lower stages of the rocket, which will carry out the heavy lifting and produces a 200t of thrust.

Based on Ukrainian company KB Yuzhnoe’s RD-810 engine design, semi-cryogenic engine, however, will sit at the lower part of the rocket and therefore, has to carry out the heavy lifting and produces a 200t of thrust. Furthermore, the pressure within its combustion chambers is around 190 times the atmospheric pressure.

The SCE-200 also uses kerosene as fuel, which is kept in the tank at room temperature.

Kerosene is considered an environment-friendly alternative fuel when compared with the unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) currently used in Indian rockets, which is also highly toxic.