Designed to carry a satellite of up to 4,000 kg, ISRO will use the GSLV Mk-III-D2 for India’s first manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’ in 2022.
Launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III-D2, built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), lifted off at 5:30 pm on November 13. The rocket carried and successfully placed ISRO’s communication satellite GSAT-29 on Earth’s orbit, which is designed to have a mission life of 10 years.
In an official statement, Dr K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO said,
GSLV Mk-III is capable of lifting up to 4-tonne mass to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit or a 10-ton payload to Low Earth Orbit. GSAT-29, which is a multi-beam communication satellite, weighs 3.4 tonne.
ISRO has planned for four more launch vehicle missions and six satellite missions by January 2019, reports News 18.
Here are a few things you need to know about the country’s heaviest rocket.
- GSLV Mk-III will be carrying Indian astronauts for the country’s first human spaceflight programme ‘Gaganyaan’ in 2022.
- It has a lift-off mass is 640 tonnes and it has a height of 43.43 metres.
- At a lift-off mass of 3,423 kg, the GSAT-29 is the heaviest satellite to be lifted by an Indian rocket till now.
- In June, the Government of India approved Rs 4,338 crore for building 10 units of the launcher over a period of five years.
- For the first time, an Indian rocket has been tested with a cryogenic engine that functions on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants.
- The project to build this vehicle was initiated in 1994 and it became operational in 2014, after 11 flight tests.
- Prior to this, India used to rely on the French Ariane 5 rocket for its satellite launches.
- At present, there are only four launch vehicles widely used to launch communication satellites.