ISRO ready for nexGen vehicle, GSLV can launch 2.2 tonne satellites to GTO

NEW DELHI: India, which already has the capacity to launch 1700 kg to Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit (600 km) with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), is all set to launch the next generation launch vehicle Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV MkIII) with indigenous high thrust cryogenic stage to launch 4 tonne class of communication satellites to GTO.

The Indian Space Research Organization is all set to make the first developmental flight in the second quarter of 2017, the space minister Jitendra Singh told the Parliament. The development of Semicryogenic engine has also been undertaken to further enhance the GTO payload capability of GSLV MkIII to 6 tonnes.

The PSLV has proven its versatility in launching multi-satellite/multi-orbit missions as well as lunar (Chandrayaan-1) and interplanetary missions (Mars Orbiter Mission).

Until now, PSLV has completed 38 consecutive successful missions, during which it has launched 46 Indian satellites (weighing ~ 43.2 tonnes) and 180 foreign satellites (weighing ~ 6.3 tonnes). It has already established itself as a preferred launch vehicle, in its class, in the global market for launch services, especially for smaller satellites.

The GSLV, with indigenous cryogenic upper stage, has the capability to launch satellites up to 2.2 tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSLV has demonstrated its reliability through three consecutive successful missions in the past three years.

The maximum GTO capability of other space launch agencies to launch satellites are: European Space Agency (ESA): 10.5 tonnes, US: 13.8 tonnes, Russia: 6.5 tonnes, China: 14 tonnes, and Japan: 8 tonnes.

ISRO has proved the level of efficiency in the area of space science through – (i) planning, development & execution of Lunar mission ‘Chandrayaan-1’ and High resolution imaging & Systematic topographic mapping of the Moon; (ii) successful insertion of Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) around the planet Mars in very first attempt, achieving all planned objectives and continuing the operations of MOM beyond its designed mission life of 6 months; (iii) placing India’s first observatory in space ‘Astrosat’, which enables simultaneous multi-wavelength observations (Ultraviolet to X-Ray) to study Stars and Galaxies; (iv) indigenous development & validation of several new technologies viz. autonomy, deep space communication, scientific instruments in space science missions.

Future missions in space science include second mission to Moon ‘Chandrayaan-2’, consisting of an indigenous Orbiter, Lander & Rover and mission for solar studies ‘Aditya-L1’ to study the solar corona in different wavebands.

The capability to set up a space station needs capability of lifting heavy payloads into space. While there is no specific plan for space station, ISRO is working towards this capability through launch vehicles using cryogenic and semi-cryogenic engines.

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