Countdown Begins For GSLV Mark III

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ISRO is all set to conduct the first developmental flight of GSLV Mark III D1- the launch vehicle today evening. The countdown of 25 ½ hours for the launch began on Sunday, 4th June at Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Center at 3:58 PM.

Of all the rockets developed by ISRO, this one happens to be the most powerful. Post its ignition today at 5:28pm it will place the GSAT-19 communication satellite in space into the Geo Synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

According to expert reports, the GSLV Mark III has the capability to hurl 4 tons of payloads into GTO when it is at the farthest point from earth and at a height of 36000km or when it is at the nearest point and at a height of 170km.

Once the satellite is placed into orbit, it will be maneuvered to the final height of 36000km by the scientists of ISRO.

The rocket is made up of three stages with a cryogenic upper stage, core stage with liquid propellant and the bottom stage that contains two solid strap-on motors. All these stages have a novel configuration. The highlight of this impending launch is the fact that this rocket will be used to place the heaviest Indian satellite, GSAT-19 into orbit. At the time of lift off, the satellite weighs at about 3136kg and its intended mission life is estimated close to 10 years. The launch will take place from Sriharikota’s second pad.

When compared to the engine that is being used in 2-ton class rocket GSLV Mark II, the cryogenic engine of GSLV Mark III seems to be a highly upgraded version. According to experts, if the latest launch rocket proves to be reliable, India’s dependence for launch missions on foreign countries can be reduced.

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