After the successful launch of South Asia Satellite, ISRO is gearing up to add another feather in its cap with the maiden launch of GSLV Mark-III. Weighing 64-tonnes, it’s going to be the heaviest rocket that India has ever launched. After 12 years of labour and rigorous research, the space agency will finally launch the rocket in the first week of June.
The Mark-III space vehicle is going to transport a 4-tonne communications satellite described as a “game-changer” in one of its kind space mission. The aim is to attain a greater share of the multi-billion dollar space market and reduce dependency on international launching vehicles. As of now ISRO can launch payloads of up to 2.2 tonnes into the intended orbit but anything bigger than that requires foreign facilities. The absence of a powerful launcher costs India a huge fee, paid to the European rockets.
ISRO GSLV MK-III (Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times)
As mentioned above, the Mark-III can carry satellites weighing 4 tonnes into space which is double the weight carried by the current GSLV-Mark-II. It will also facilitate the launch of heavier communications spacecraft to geostationary orbits of 36,000 km. The rocket is packed with an Indian cryogenic third stage and a higher payload capacity than the current GSLV in use.
Discussing further, the satellite would carry Ka and Ku-band payload with a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload. It will monitor and study the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electric components. Besides, the satellite would also employ advanced spacecraft technologies including bus subsystem experiments in the electrical propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous bus bars for power distribution, etc.
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