GSLV Mk III Current Affairs

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ISRO’s GSLV-Mk III Launched

ISRO’s GSLV-Mk III has been launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 5, 2017. GSLV-Mk III is the heaviest rocket ever made by ISRO which is capable of carrying heavy payloads.

Salient Facts

GSLV-Mk III can put four-tonne satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and is capable of placing up to eight tonnes in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This capacity is enough to carry a manned module and launch people into space.

The rocket has three-stages with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25). The solid booster S200 is the third largest solid booster in the world. It was successfully tested at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on January 24, 2010. The indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage, C-25, which is the most difficult component was successfully tested on February 18, 2017.

On June 5, GSLV-Mk III’s first developmental flight, D1, will place GSAT-19 satellite into space. GSAT-19 will help to improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas. This is India’s first fully functional rocket to be tested with a cryogenic engine. Cryogenic engine makes use of liquid propellants (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen). ISRO took about 25 years, 11 flights and over 200 tests on different components to come up with this rocket.

The rocket weighs 640-tonne which will be equivalent to the weight of 200 fully-grown Asian elephants. The rocket will be India’s heaviest but shortest rocket with a height of 43 metre.

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ISRO to test launch GSLV-Mk III-D1 in May 2017

ISRO is all set to undertake the first developmental flight of a ‘game-changer’ rocket (launching vehicle) that will have the capacity to launch four-tonne class of satellites, from Sriharikota spaceport. ISRO looks forward to conduct the second developmental flight within this year.

Significance

With the successful test launch, ISRO can carry out all the launches within the country instead of depending on international agencies for the launch of heavier satellites. Hence, the successful test launch will help in reducing ISRO’s dependency on international launching vehicles. ISRO’s launch vehicles as of now have the capability to launch satellites only up to 2.2 tonne. For the launch of heavier satellites, it had to depend upon the international agencies.  So, the ISRO rightly views operationalisation of this rocket as a “game-changer” mission.

GSAT-19

GSAT-19 would be the payload for the first developmental flight of the indigenous GSLV-Mk III-D1 Launcher. GSAT-19 has a mass of 3200 kg and would carry Ka and Ku band payload along with a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer Payload (GRASP). The spectrometer would be used to monitor and study the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components.

GSAT-19 would also make use of advanced spacecraft technologies such as bus subsystem experiments in the electrical propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous bus bars for power distribution etc.

About GSLV-Mk III

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III is the next generation launch vehicle of ISRO which will be capable of launching four-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). It has an indigenous cryogenic third stage, designated as C25. The C25 stage is considered as the most powerful upper stage developed by ISRO which uses Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) propellant combination.

 

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ISRO Successfully tests Cryogenic Engine for Upper Stage of GSLV Mk III

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested indigenously developed cryogenic engine for the upper stage ‘GSLV Mk III’ rocket.

 The cryogenic upper stage, designated as C25, was tested for 50 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu demonstrating all the stage operations. It was the first test in a series of two tests.  The second test is planned for flight duration of 640 seconds.

Key Facts 
  • Cryogenic engines are used in the upper stage of a rocket launch as they provide the maximum thrust to a launcher vehicle.
  • The development of C25 cryogenic stage started after approval of GSLV MkIII, ISRO’s next generation launch vehicle, capable of launching heavy four tonne class spacecraft in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • C25 stage was conceptualised, designed and realised by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) with support from Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) and Sathish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).
  • GSLV MkIII vehicle consists of two solid strap-on motors, one earth storable liquid core stage and the cryogenic upper stage.
  • The C25 stage is most powerful upper stage developed by ISRO. It uses Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Hydrogen propellant combination. This stage carries 27.8 tons of propellants loaded in two independent tanks.
  • Note: Development of a cryogenic stage has unique design challenges liquid Oxygen stored at -195 deg C and as liquid Hydrogen is stored at -253 deg C in its tanks. To store these cryogenic fluids, special multi-layer insulation is provided for the tanks and other structures.
Comment

The 50 second test of C25 is a significant milestone in the ISRO’s development of indigenous cryogenic propulsion technology. The successful hot test of the stage in the first attempt itself demonstrates the ISRO’s ability to work in new areas like cryogenic technology. The first flight stage for ‘GSLV MkIII-D1’ mission is in an advanced stage of realisation. It is scheduled to launch GSAT-19 during first quarter of 2017. Its flight engine was successfully tested earlier in the High Altitude Test facility and integrated with the flight stage.

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