World / Asia-Pacific

India tests new space rocket engine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-28 13:02

NEW DELHI -- India on Sunday successfully tested a new rocket engine of the Super Sonic Combustion Ram Jet (SCRAMJET) from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota.

With the launch of the new engine, which could bring down space launch costs substantially, India joined the league of only two nations -- the United States and Australia that have the technology.

The test was conducted by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), using a sounding rocket.

"The test was a grand success," ISRO chief Kiran Kumar told the media.

Weighing 3 tons, SCRAMJET, also called Advanced Technology Vehicle, is an engine that takes atmospheric oxygen to burn fuel instead of using fuel and oxidizer for the combustion to happen.

This technology reduces the overall weight of the rocket and increases efficiency, and thus it would be able to bring down costs of space launches.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has congratulated the space agency on the successful test.

"Hearty congratulations ISRO on successful test of futuristic scramjet rocket engine. India is proud of you," he tweeted.

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