ISRO GSLV Mk 3 Rocket Launch: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday will launch the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) carrying the GSAT-19 communications satellite. The rocket will be the heaviest rocket India has ever launched and will provide the nation with greater independence in its space ventures. The launch vehicle will let ISRO launch satellites which weigh 3.5-4 tonnes. Currently, India has to approach European Space Agency (ESA) to launch its satellites which weigh over two tonnes, according to the Indian Express. This is a mammoth enterprise. Not only is India aiming for ever-higher and bigger goals in space, it is also increasing its footprints in other ways too. Among them, one of the most unique and important is the fact that it is looking to keep costs down to the bare minimum. ISRO has a small budget while those of others in the US, Russia or even in Europe have huge wallets to spend from.
Former ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, in his reaction to PTI, said, “Launch of the first developmental flight of the rocket is a “great milestone” as ISRO is almost doubling the capacity to launch satellite from 2.2-2.3 tons to 3.5-4 tons.” ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar highlighted the importance of the mission by saying “it was the heaviest ever rocket and satellite to be launched from the country”.
You can also watch
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) June 4, 2017
The addition of the new rocket launch system will certainly add to India’s space agency credibility as well as long string of successes. ISRO had earlier this year created a record by successfully placing 104 satellites in orbit. By placing these satellites in orbit ISRO broke the previous record held by the Russian space agency Roscosmos State Corporation. The Russians had put 7 satellites into orbit in June 2014, according to the Indian Express.
ISRO also has the enviable distinction of being the only space agency to have sent a successful probe to Mars in its first attempt. Not only is this an incredible feat on its own, but ISRO achieved this distinction at a fraction of the cost at which other space agencies have spent on similar probes. In fact India’s Mars orbiter, called Mangalyan, cost $72 million which is less than the budget of the space-themed science fiction Hollywood film ‘Gravity,’ which was produced at an estimated cost $100 million, according to the Indian Express.
GSLV is seen as a game changer in space technology. The launch platform was designed to carry the heaviest of Indian communication satellites. This means that ISRO has doubled its launch capacity in terms of weight of the deliverable payload. GSLV Mk-III can put satellites in geostationary orbits at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. The launch vehicle will put the GSAT-19, which weighs 3.2 tonnes into orbit on Monday.