GSLV MkIII launch: The nerve-wracking countdown of over 25 hours has started for the launch of the heaviest ever rocket and satellite combo from home soil. India is all set to launch the landmark heavy-lift rocket GSLV MkIII to place the communications satellite GSAT-19 into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Sriharikota, situated around 120 KM from Chennai. The rocket is planned to lift-off at 5:28 PM on June 5, i.e. on Monday from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar stated that it is the mission that holds an utmost importance for the country due to the communications satellite involved. Kumar said, “The 25-and-half hour countdown for the launch of GSLV-MkIII-D1, carrying the 3,136 kg GSAT-19 satellite, commenced at 3.58 pm, soon after the Mission Readiness Review Committee and Launch Authorisation Board gave the clearance.”
Kumar revealed the significance of Monday’s launch by saying that “it was the heaviest ever rocket and satellite to be launched”.
The GSAT-19 has an estimated life of 10 years. Till now ISRO used to depend on foreign launchers to lift their satellites of weight in excess of 2,300 kg. The beacon GSLV MkIII-D1 has the tremendous capacity to lift 4,000 kg in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit.
In this mission, the satellite carrier is supposed to place the communication satellite, GSAT-19 into the GTO at 16.20 minute after it elevates from the launch pad.
This landmark mission will supplement the India’s communication resource as the GSAT-19 holds the capability of being at par with as many six to seven of the older variety of communication satellites in space.