Following the successful launch of the South Asia Satellite, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now focused on the launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III), the heaviest rocket ISRO has ever launched at 640 tons.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — Already being described as a game changer and a great leap forward for the Indian space agency's ability to launch rockets with heavier payloads, the rocket will be powered by the cryogenic engine developed indigenously by ISRO scientists, a first.
ISRO is expected to launch the GSLV Mk III in the first week of June although no specific date has been given so far.
"GSLV Mark III is our next launch. We are getting ready. All the systems are in Sriharikota. The integration is currently going on. The whole process of assembling the various stages and then integrating the satellite into the heat shield, these activities are going on. We are targeting the launch in the first week of June," PTI quoted ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar as saying.
With it, ISRO is targeting a greater share of the multi-billion dollar global space market. It will also reduce dependence on foreign launching vehicles and experts agreed that both objectives can be achieved.
"The launch of GSLV Mk III is significant for both promoting self-reliance and brand-building in the global space industry. ISRO is doing a lot of things to reduce dependency on foreign launching vehicles and investing in R&D in building our own rockets; creating an eco-system where the private sector also plays a substantial role and creates an industrial base. ISRO is also aiming for around 10-12 satellite launches every year in the medium term. All these steps will lead towards projecting ISRO's capabilities and technological prowess," Dr Mayank Vahia, scientist with the Department of Astrophysics at Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, told Sputnik.
The GSLV Mk III can manage to carry a heavier 4-ton communications satellite. At present, ISRO is capable of launching payloads of up to 2.2 ton into orbit. For anything with higher payload, ISRO had to depend on foreign launch vehicles.
GSLV Mk-III will lift Ka and Ku-band payload as well as a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload. It will enable ISRO to study and monitor the nature of charged particles and impact of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.