SRIHARIKOTA: Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday successfully launched its most powerful rocket, GSLV Mk III nicknamed ‘Fatboy’+ , by firing a high thrust indigenous cryogenic engine in the first developmental flight and placed the country’s heaviest satellite in orbit.
With the launch, Isro has demonstrated its mastery in developing a cryogenic engine, a technology denied to it years ago. The launch proves the homegrown launch vehicle’s capability of hurling up to four tonne payload into higher orbits.
It has also laid a strong foundation for its ambitious future projects, including Chandraayan-II and a manned mission, besides venturing into the global heavy payload market.GSLV Mk III launch: ‘Fat boy’ to pave way for manned mission01:14
GSLV Mk III-D1 carrying communication satellite GSAT-19+ lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 5.28pm. Around 16 minutes after takeoff, the vehicle placed the satellite in the geosynchronous transfer orbit. Congratulating the scientists and others who worked for the successful mission, Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said: “It is a historic day. The entire team has worked since 2002. The vehicle carried the next generation satellite. We are looking forward to getting the satellite operational.”
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director Dr K Sivan said, “It is the commencement of two complex technologies – a vehicle that can carry twice the payload weight and a high throughput satellite. It is the continued efforts of the team and industry contribution.”
The three-stage vehicle was propelled by an indigenously designed and developed cryogenic engine — CE-20 — in its upper stage (C25 stage) before it ejected the satellite into its orbit. GSAT-19’s propulsion system will be later used for the satellite to reach its geostationary orbital home.
The launch is also the first flight for CE-20 engine+ , which was under development since 2002. The engine, which runs on a less complex technology compared to its Russian design predecessors, has undergone more than 200 tests in the last few years.
Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan said, “Isro has made it a habit to execute complex jobs in the most professional way. This has culminated in yet another successful event in Sriharikota.”
Kunhikrishnan said integration for the next launch PSLV C38 is going on in the first launch pad simultaneously. “It is planned in the next half of the month. The next GSLV Mk III will be integrated in the new vehicle assembly coming up which will be three times bigger,” he said.The GSAT-19 carried transponders and a geostationary radiation spectrometer. The instrument will monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components.
In December 2014, a miniature version of GSLV Mk III+ carried a 3,775kg experimental crew module. The vehicle did not have the cryogenic engine as it was only to demonstrate the design.
It took five years for Isro to taste its first success with GSLV Mk II after the engine failed 800 milliseconds into ignition in its first flight on April 15, 2010. The vehicle was carrying GSAT-4 satellite.
The first successful flight of indigenously made cryogenic stage powered GSLV Mk II was on January 5, 2014 when it carried GSAT-14. Since then, Mark II has seen four successful flights including the launch of South Asia Satellite on May 5 this year.
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