India eyes manned space missions after successful satellite launch

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III – D1 (GSLV-Mk III – D1) along with GSAT-19.

India’s heaviest rocket-Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III)-has geared up for its maiden flight into space along with a communications satellite this evening.

It is a three-stage vehicle with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine created to carry heavier communication satellites into a higher Earth orbit known as Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on today’s launch success. Earlier, Indian Space Research organisation had launched 3,404 Kg GSAT-18 communication satellite from Ariane, French Guiana.

This launch is one of ISRO’s most significant one as it puts India in an elite club of nations to successfully develop heavy lift launch vehicles.

The countdown for launching GSLV Mk-III rocket with GSAT-19 satellite began at 3.58pm on Sunday at Sriharikota.

More importantly, the GSAT-19 employs a new method of transmitting and receiving data, using multi-frequency beams, which will open up new satellite-based internet capabilities for the country, particularly for parts that are not covered by the optic fibre cable networks. The GSLV Mk III D1 is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit.

In a way, the launch breaks a major jinx for ISRO, which has over the past three decades, faltered several timesin its first tests, including the GSLV version as well as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

In May, India launched a communications satellite for its smaller neighbours to share, part of its efforts to build goodwill in the region.

The rocket is powered by an indigenous engine that uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants, Kumar told reporters.

The launch will take place from Isro’s Sriharikota facility in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

India has successfully launched its heaviest-ever rocket – a spacecraft it hopes will eventually be able to carry astronauts.

The communication satellite GSAT-19 weighs 3136 kilogram during lift off and its intended mission life is ten years. The Mark III is a three-stage rocket, with the first stage comprising of two solid rocket motors mounted on either side of a liquid-fueled core, containing two stages.

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