ISRO's GSLV Mk-III rocket successfully injects GSAT-19 satellite into orbit
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the space agency of the Government of India headquartered in the city of Bengaluru. Its vision is to "harness space technology for national development", while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.
Few months ago ISRO has established a new world record on 15 February 2017 by injecting into orbit 104 satellites from 07 different countries, nearly 3 times the highest number flown by a single mission currently.The earlier record was held by Russia, when its Dnepr rocket carried 37 payloads in June 2014. The same had surpassed the American record of 34 satellites launched in January.
Today Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the country’s heaviest rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) – along with a communications satellite GSAT-19 on 5 june Monday evening. (LIVE UPDATES)
A successful launch of this rocket is yet another major step towards being self-reliant in the country’s space programme.
Here are some details Satellite Launch Vehicle :
- The rocket, weighing 640 tonnes and standing 43.43 metres tall, blasted off from the second launch pad at India’s rocket port at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 5:28pm. It carried a 3,136-kg GSAT-19 communications satellite – the heaviest to be lifted by an Indian rocket till date – to an altitude of around 179km above the Earth after just over 16 minutes into the flight.
- The rocket’s main and bigger cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists indigenously. It will help India get a greater share of the multi-billion dollar global space market and reduce dependency on international launching vehicles.
- It will also enable ISRO to launch from India heavier communications spacecraft to geostationary orbits of 36,000 km. Because of the absence of a powerful launcher, ISRO currently launches satellites above 2 tonnes on European rockets for a big fee.
- The GSAT-19, with a lifespan of 10 years, is a multi-beam satellite that will carry Ka and Ku-band payload along with a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.
- It would also employ advanced spacecraft technologies including bus subsystem experiments in the electrical propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous busbars for power distribution, among others.
- ISRO had flown a similar rocket without the cryogenic engine but with 3.7-tonne payload in 2014 mainly to test its structural stability while in flight and the aerodynamics. S Somanath, director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, told IANS that the inputs of the 2014 mission enabled the ISRO to reduce the rocket load by around 20%.
- GSLV-Mk III, at around 43 metres, is slightly shorter than Mk-II version that is around 49 metres tall. “The new rocket may be slightly short but has more punch power,” an ISRO official told IANS.
- India presently has two rockets -- the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and GSLV-Mk II -- with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes and a carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes.
At a practical level, India’s development of the GSLV Mk III, capable of launching four-tonne satellites into geostationary orbit, relieves India of dependency on foreign players to launch its heavy satellites.
India’s capability to launch heavy satellites also has significant positive commercial spin-offs. This will make India an important player in the multibillion-dollar global satellite launch market, making India a cost effective and reliable partner for heavy satellite launches, generating additional revenue for ISRO.
And in the aftermath of such success, ISRO is bound to place fewer orders to launch geosynchronous satellite launches that have been historically addressed by Arianespace. Its rise could also signal the emergence of a new, competitive option that fledgling space nations could look up to, other than the US, Russia, Europe and China.