India hopes new rocket can carry humans into space

06 June, 2017, 06:23 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • GSLV Mk-III-D1 carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite at India Tv

It was a great moment today for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and the entire country, as India's biggest home-made rocket GSLV MK III was successfully launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The newly developed indigenous launch vehicle is set to insert the communication satellite GSAT-19 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit after it blasts off from the second launch pad of the spaceport at 5.28 pm today.

India Monday scripted history as it successfully launched its heaviest home-made rocket GSLV MkIII-D1 billed as the "Naughty boy" of Space Agency ISRO carrying communication satellite GSAT-19.

Addressing the Media following immediately after the launch, Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar confirmed that the GSLV MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission has been successful. The GSLV-Mk III, carrying India's heaviest communication satellite up to now - the GSAT-9, weighing 3.2 tonnes - is scheduled to take off on 5th June, Monday.

"The habit of ISRO to execute a complex mission in a very professional way ultimately culminated into yet another significant event in 2017 at Sriharikota", P Kunhikrishnan, Scientist "H" and Deputy Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said after the launch. "The nation is proud", the Prime Minister said.

In the past, India's space agency ISRO would use French-made rockets to carry heavy loads. The GSLV Mk III, which has two solid strap-ons, a liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage, will be carrying the 3,136 kg GSAT-19 satellite.

This evolution will help ISRO unravel more space missions in the lander (surface of the planet) and orbit (orbiting in space) systems.

The technology has not come easy - India's space agency has spent about 15 years to develop the heavy lift rocket.

The successful culmination of the SLV-3 project showed the way to advanced launch vehicle projects such as the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

To reach its final state today, a total of 11 flights and over 200 tests were conducted for the successful making of the rocket, which took almost 25 years to become what it is today.

What powers the monster GSLV-Mark III is ISRO's high-thrust, cryogenic engine CE-20, which has been developed after 30 years of research.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre Director S. Somanath said, the brand new rocket was conceived, designed and realised by ISRO engineers.

Fat Boy is India's maiden fully functional rocket which will be tested with a cryogenic engine.

Space experts said yesterday's launch was a breakthrough for India, which aims to become only the fourth nation in the world - after the United States, Russia and China - to send a manned mission into space.

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