nsucurrent.com March 24, 2018

India eyes manned space missions after successful satellite launch

06 June 2017, 06:26 | Shelley Chandler

GSLV Mk-III-D1 carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite at the launch pad

GSLV Mk-III-D1 carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite at India Tv

The over 25-hour countdown for the launch of India's heavy-lift rocket GSLV MkIII, carrying communication satellite GSAT-19, from the space port of Sriharikota had begun on Sunday, ISRO said.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the launch, ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar explained that GSLV Mark III will enable India to put communications satellites into space from its own soil in future.

India successfully launched its heaviest-ever rocket on Monday which it hopes will eventually be able to carry astronauts into space, a feat that only Russian Federation, the United States and China have achieved, its space agency said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated ISRO for the successful launch of GSLV - MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission.

If successfully launched, GSLV-Mk III will pioneer India's intention to send manned missions.

Today's GSLV mission is significant for India as ISRO had been depending on foreign launchers for launching communication satellites weighing more than 2,300 kgs.

President Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated ISRO scientists on historic launch of India's heaviest rocket.

India's space agency has successfully launched its heaviest rocket, the 640-tonne rocket blasted off from a launching site off the Bay of Bengal in Sriharikota. The 43.43 metre-tall GSLV Mk III is a new, improved and powerful version of the GSLV rockets developed by ISRO, and features an indigenously developed cryogenic engine which provides a huge final thrust to the rocket after the initial solid and liquid fuel engine stages.

In February, ISRO made headlines when it launched a record-breaking 104 satellites into space atop just one rocket. That is, the GSAT-19 will be equivalent to having a constellation of six to seven of the older communications satellites in space.

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. The launch vehicle also had the communication satellite GSAT 19 on board which was separated opportunely. The core-stage (liquid stage) separation will happen at 5 minutes and 20 seconds after lift-off and the cryo-stage ignition happens two seconds later.

It uses ISRO's indigenous cryogenic engine, developed by the space exploration body after decades of work.

"Proud to say ISRO has given birth to a Baahubali", said Tapan Misra, Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO, indicating its enormous power.

Scientists say the rocket could be used in the future to carry an astronaut into space, something that only Russian Federation, the United States and China have done.

Isro began work on building indigenous cryogenic engine in the 1970s, though it gained momentum after Russian Federation denied transfer of technology.

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