Another orbit: on GSAT29 launch
Mains Paper 2: Science and Technology
Prelims level: GSAT29 launch
Mains level: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space
- The Indian Space Research Organisation has marked a big milestone
by successfully testing its heavy-lift launcher while launching an advanced
- It plans to use this for the Chandrayaan-II moon mission in the
early months of 2019.
- On Wednesday the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII (GSLV
MkIII) launched GSAT29.
Key highlights of this program launched
- It is an advanced communications satellite, into a geosynchronous
transfer orbit where the satellite’s closest approach to earth would be 190
km and the farthest 35,975 km.
- The launcher bearing the 3,423 kg satellite took off from a
launchpad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
- Seventeen minutes later, after various stages, the vehicle
injected the satellite into the transfer orbit.
- ISRO’s master control facility at Hassan assumed the command and
control of the satellite, and it will be manoeuvred into a geostationary
orbit, its final destination, in days.
- Once placed, the satellite’s solar panels and antennae will unfold
and work will begin.
- With a liftoff mass of 640 tonnes, the GSLV MkIII is the heaviest
launch vehicle made in India, and GSAT29 is the heaviest satellite to take
off from Indian soil.
- Both launcher and satellite have other characteristics that make
them stand out.
- The launcher can carry payloads up to 4 tonnes to the
geosynchronous transfer orbit and up to 10 tonnes to a low-earth orbit.
- The multi-band, multi-beam satellite can cater to the
communication needs of people in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.
About GSLV MkIII
- The first successful experimental flight of the GSLV MkIII was in
2014 when it carried a dummy crew module as a payload.
- This proved its capacity in the atmospheric flight regime. Its
first developmental flight was on June 5, 2017, when it launched GSAT19,
weighing 3,136 kg.
- The present launch marked the second developmental flight of the
MkIII. With these two successes.
- The launcher is declared ‘operational’ and joins the ranks of the
working vehicles, the PSLV and the GSLV.
- This is far fewer than the number of developmental flights the
older launch vehicles were subjected to.
- This is because the solid and liquid propellant stages had been
- The third cryogenic stage could establish its performance in just
two developmental flights.
- These were preceded by numerous experimental flights and
- This success sets the stage for trying out variations such as
other types of engines, different fuel combinations and higher launch
- The GSLV MkIII has not just boosted the satellite into its orbit,
but also restored morale at ISRO, which had been dented by the GSAT 6A
Q.1) ISRO has recently launched the GSAT-series communication satellite
from Andhra Pradesh. The launched GSAT is of which series?
Q.1) The GSLV-GSAT launch enhances India’s capacity to meet its
communication needs. Explain it.