GSAT-29, India’s heaviest rocket lifts off with communication satellite

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(Online Desk)

India’s space programme took a giant leap on Wednesday with successful launch of GSLV MkIII-D2 mission. With the success of this flight, the developmental phase of GSLV MkIII vehicle programme has been completed and the vehicle’s operational phase will begin. This is significant because the same rocket will be used for upcoming ‘iconic’   Chandrayaan-2 launch scheduled in January and even the human space
mission.

Standing 43.5 meter tall with a lift-off mass of 641 tons, India’s heaviest rocket has lifted-off from Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 5.08 pm roaring into clear blue skies.

Though Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its afternoon bulletin, just hours before the launch, said squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to commence along south

Andhra Pradesh coasts from Wednesday evening, weather remained calm and pleasant making it perfect for the launch of ‘fat boy’ or ‘Bahubali’ as GSLV MkIII is being referred. ISRO officials aid atmospheric conditions were closely monitored.

GSLV MkIII Project was constituted in 2002 and the indigenous cryogenic stage for GSLV was yet to be realised back then. One decision made while configuring the heavy lift rocket was that the cryogenic upper stage for the rocket will be a totally indigenous one.

Today, ISRO has realised GSLV MkIII with indigenous cryo stage. “It’s proud moment for all of us involved in making of this master piece,” said a former GSLV MkIII project director.

Post launch, ISRO chairman K Sivan has credited the success to team ISRO. “Today, India has achieved a major milestone. The satellite was precisely placed in the intended orbit. This mission is very important as the heaviest launcher GSLV MkIII has completed the developmental phase. The first operational mission of this launcher will the Chandrayaan-2 early next year and in another three year the rocket will also carry a human to the space” he said.

Regarding GSAT-29, a very advanced high throughput satellite weighing a whopping 3,423 kilograms, is configured to cater to the communication requirements of users from Jammu and Kashmir and North
Eastern regions of India, besides acting as test bed for demonstrating new and critical technologies with certain strategic importance.

He also complimented the industry, which has carried out 85-90% of the work related to both rocket and the satellite. Sivan also said work on Gaganyan has commenced and team has been set-up. “We hope to launch the manned mission by December 2021,” he said and added ISRO plans to execute 10 missions before January next year.

V Somanath, director, VSSC, said GSLV MkIII is the vehicle for the future and efforts are on to enhance the payload carrying capacity further with semi-cryogenic stage.

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