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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch its most powerful launch vehicle, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III into space. Built to lift the heaviest Indian communication satellites, GSLV Mark-III could be a game changer when it comes to India’s space efforts. ISRO will be launching the GSLV Mark III, earlier named Launch Vehicle Mark (LVM)-3, a heavy launch capability launcher, on June 5, 2017, from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Till now, India has been using high-cost European rockets to launches satellites weighing two tons. The new vehicle has the ability to put satellites weighing up to four tons in space, and it is double the weight of what the current GSLV-Mark-II can lift.

 Important Points about GSLV-Mark-III:

  1. GSLV Mark-III enables ISRO to launch from India heavier communication spacecraft to geostationary orbits of 36,000 km.
  2. GSLV Mark III will launch the GSAT-19 satellite, which is a high throughput communication satellite. It will help in India’s efforts to increase internet connectivity in the country.
  3. The GSLV is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C25).
  4. GSLV-Mk III-D1 is the first developmental flight carrying the GSAT-19 satellite.

 It is the maiden experimental launch of GSLV-Mark III earlier named Launch Vehicle Mark-3, but if all goes on well in a decade or after a slew of at least half a dozen successful launches, this rocket could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch “Indians into space, from Indian soil using Indian rockets.” This heavy lift rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tons in a low Earth orbit, enough to carry India’s crew module.

ISRO has already prepared plans of hoisting a 2 to 3 member human crew into space as soon as the government gives it a sanction of about $3 billion to $4 billion (Rs 19,500 crores/Rs 195 billion to Rs 26,000 crores/Rs 260 billion). If the human venture materializes, India would become only the fourth country after Russia, the United States, and China to have a human space flight program. Incidentally, ISRO asserts the first Indian to go into space could well be a woman!


As per the press release issued by ISRO, It is estimated that the new rocket costs a whopping Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) but the country would end up saving almost as much when an Indian launcher is used to place New Delhi’s communication satellites. Even though the GSLV-Mk III is 43 meters tall, making it the shortest of the three big Indian rockets, it carries a huge punch as it weighs almost 1.5 times heavier than India’s next biggest rocket, the GSLV Mk-2 and almost twice as heavy as India’s PSLV. This monster rocket has an elegant design and is capable of carrying loads equal to the weight of two sports utility vehicles, or SUVs, into space. The new cryogenic engine is being tested on a fully functional rocket for the first time. The development of this technology — it uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellant — is what took more than 15 years for Indians to master. Space fairing is a very risky business and all nations — the US,

The development of this technology — it uses liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellant — is what took more than 15 years for Indians to master. Space fairing is a very risky business and all nations — the US, France, and Japan — and even the new private companies have had failures in recent times like the spectacular Falcon-9 rocket in 2016. Hopefully, the GSLV-Mk III will break that jinx.


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About the Author

Adarsh is data science aficionado & computer science engineer (2016 Passed out). He has started his professional journey as a Product Engineer under Global Transaction banking (GTB) vertical of Intellect Design Arena Ltd - a 100mn USD plus Software product company. He has also worked as Subject Expert in Computer Science at Chegg, California-based company that specialized in Online tutoring & problem-solving for students across the globe. He is currently working as a Product Manager in an E-commerce startup. In free time he likes reading articles, writing tech blogs, teaching students & sharing knowledge.

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