In yet another historic moment for India, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has been touching the skies with back to back feats, on Monday successfully launched the 3,136 kg communication satellite GSAT-19 aboard its heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III D1 aka 'Fat Boy'.
The launch of ISRO's GSLV Mk-III took place from second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota at 5:20 PM. The Indian space agency said earlier on Monday that the countdown process for its GSLV Mk-III launch was “progressing normally”.
ISRO kick-started the 25-and-half hour countdown for the launch on Sunday at 3:58 PM. The scientists were involved in propellant filling operations of the heaviest GSLV-MkIII D1, officials said.
Here are the Highlights:
#7:00 PM: ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar addresses media:
-Our focus is to achieve 12 launches per year. We had done 199 tests for today's launch of GSLV MARK III since Dec 2014
-Our immediate task is to improve launch frequency
#5:50 PM: President Pranab Mukherjee congratulates ISRO scientists:
The nation is proud of this significant achievement #PresidentMukherjee— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) June 5, 2017
GSLV-Mk III is the heaviest rocket ever made by India and is capable of carrying the heaviest satellites made till date #PresidentMukherjee— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) June 5, 2017
Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III #PresidentMukherjee— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) June 5, 2017
#5:48 PM: PM Modi congratulates ISRO scientists:
The GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission takes India closer to the next generation launch vehicle and satellite capability. The nation is proud!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2017
Congratulations to the dedicated scientists of ISRO for the successful launch of GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2017
I take this opportunity to congratulate the entire team which worked on this project: ISRO Chief Kiran Kumar
Mission completed, GSLV Mk-III rocket carrying heaviest satellite GSAT-19 of 3,136 kg weight successfully injected into space
Total flight time is 16 minutes 20 seconds, the flight has covered 15 minutes so far
C25 ignition has been confirmed, performance normal; scientists at launch control centre applaud
L110 stage perfromance indicated as normal
Heat shield separated
First stage performance is normal
ISRO launches GSLV Mark III carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite from Sriharikota, AP pic.twitter.com/MvoRhyD9To— ANI (@ANI_news) June 5, 2017
Vehicle liftoff, GSLV Mk-III launched, ISRO launches GSLV Mark III carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite from Sriharikota
minus 40 seconds, minus 35 seconds, minus 30 seconds, minus 25 seconds, minus 20 seconds, minus 15 seconds, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Countdown set for minus 1 minute seconds for the launch
#Countdown set for minus 2 minutes for the launch
#GSLV Mk-III will carry the heaviest satellite GSAT-19
#ISRO to launch heaviest 3,136 kg communication satellite GSAT-19 shortly
Why the launch is crucial for ISRO?
With this launch, ISRO will no longer have to depend on foreign launchers to blast off communications satellites that weigh more than 2,300 kg. The GSLV Mk-III D1 can carry payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit.
Described as a ‘game-changer’ in the first of its kind space mission, the GSLV Mark-III rocket can manage to carry a heavier 4-tonne communications satellite.
With the launch of the GSLV Mark-III rocket, the Indian space agency is eying a greater share of the multi-billion dollar global space market with an aim to lessen dependency on foreign launching vehicles.
Currently, the Indian space agency is capable of launching payloads of up to 2.2 tonnes into the intended orbit. For anything above the aforementioned weight, ISRO had to seek help of foreign launch facilities.
About the GSLV Mk-III D1:
The GSLV Mk-III D1 is a three-stage vehicle with indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine designed to carry heavier communication satellites into the GTO.
The heaviest rocket will push satellites into geostationary orbit and will be used as a launcher for an Indian crew vehicle. The GSLV Mark-III is equipped with an Indian cryogenic third stage and has a higher payload capacity compared to the current GSLV.
GSLV Mark-III will lift Ka and Ku-band payload as well as a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload. The purpose is to study and monitor the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.
The GSLV Mark-III rocket will also feature advanced spacecraft technologies including bus subsystem experiments in electrical propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous bus bars for power distribution, among others.
What ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar says?
The mission is important as “it was the heaviest-ever rocket and satellite to be launched from the country,” ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar had said.
“GSLV Mark-III is our next launch. We are getting ready. All the systems are in Sriharikota. The integration is currently going on,” Kumar had said last month.
“The whole process of assembling the various stages and then integrating the satellite into the heat shield, these activities are going on. First week of June is when we are targeting this launch,” he said.
Kiran Kumar said that since ISRO had to launch from foreign soil the communications satellites built beyond the capacity of 2.2 tonnes, efforts are now on to launch satellite up to 4 tonnes and even beyond in India itself.
He said in terms of cost-effectiveness, the ISRO-developed technology on lithium ion batteries is good for space programme, but it requires the efforts of industry to develop it to reduce costs.