ISRO will launch India’s heaviest satellite Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) today. The successful lift off of the satellite will help India launch 4-ton class of satellites of foreign countries, according to reports. Now, Chinese media has taken notice of this development and said that the rocket would be capable of taking humans into space. In its article, the state-run People’s Daily reported that if the launch succeeds ISRO plans to seek financial assistance from the central government to station Indians in space. The daily, however, said that it remained unconfirmed whether or not India will look to conduct manned space missions in future. The first-ever developmental flight of the launch vehicle is scheduled for Monday evening, People’s Daily said, adding it is the most powerful ever rocket developed by the ISRO.
The over 25-hour countdown for the launch of GSLV MkIII had begun yesterday. It will carry the communication satellite, GSAT-19. The launch will tak place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said that the mission is important as it was the heaviest ever rocket and satellite to be launched from the country. The rocket is expected to be launched at 5.28 pm, Kumar was told media.
Take a look at ISRO’s tweet
— ISRO (@isro) June 4, 2017
The launch assumes significance as ISRO had to depend on foreign launchers for communication satellites weighing more than 2,300 kg so far. It has been learned that the GSLV MkIII-D1 is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit. The vehicle is scheduled to launch the GSAT-19 into the GTO at 16.20 minutes after lift off. Earlier, the ISRO had launched the 3,404 kg GSAT-18 communication satellite from Ariane, French Guiana.
Watch this video
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) June 4, 2017
In 2014, the space agency successfully undertook the first experimental flight of the GSLV MkIII from Sriharikota. The mission would augment India’s communication resources as a single GSAT-19 satellite will be equivalent to having a constellation of six to seven of the older variety of communication satellites in space. At present, out of a constellation of 41 in-orbit Indian satellites, 13 are communication satellites, and the total mission life of the GSAT-19 is 10 years.