The Indian Space Research Organisation on 5 June 2017 launched the GSAT-19 satellite, one of the heaviest communication satellites, with the GSLV MK III-D1 rocket. The rocket became the heaviest to be launched by the Indian space agency ever with the heaviest single payload put in orbit as well.
The rocket lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The rocket has the capability to carry a payload as heavy as 4,000 kg and put in into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It can also carry a 10,000 kg payload and put in into the Low Earth Orbit.
- The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (MkIII D-1) has successfully demonstrated its capabilities with the injection of GSAT-19 into the desired orbit.
- It is a great success in the first maiden attempt and GSLV MkIII has successfully put in orbit GSAT-19 which is a next generation satellite.
- ISRO has plans to use the rocket for manned missions in the future. The rocket is a three-stage launch vehicle which has two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage. The rocket is 43.39 metre in height which is roughly the height of a 12-storey building.
- Today’s GSLV mission is significant for India as ISRO had been depending on foreign launchers for orbiting communication satellites weighing more than 2,300 kgs.
- The GSLV MkIII-D1 is capable of lifting payloads or satellites weighing upto 4,000 kgs into the GTO and 10,000kgs into the Low Earth Orbit.
- It was a textbook launch as every stage of the three-stage GSLV MkIII with indegeneous cryogenic engine performed well.
- The GSKV-Mk III is capable of launching a four-tonne satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The rocket is also capable of placing a payload weighing up to eight tonnes in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), enough to carry a manned module.
- This is India’s first fully functional rocket to be tested with a cryogenic engine that uses liquid propellants — liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
- It took nearly 25 years, 11 flights and over 200 tests on different components of the rocket for it to be fully realised. GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25).
- The mission could also pave the way for manned missions into space. Currently, there are just three countries – US, Russia, and China – which have the capability of launching manned missions. If successful, the GSLV-Mk III — earlier called Launch Vehicle Mark-3 or LVM-3 — could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch people into space.
- The rocket, which has about twice the capability of the GSLV-Mk II in terms of the payload it can place into orbit, weighs 640 tonnes and has cost the country an estimated Rs 400 crore.
- The rocket's first developmental flight will carry the GSAT-19 satellite — developed to help improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas.