Isro’s heaviest rocket is ready but is it enough for the load that lies ahead?
GSLV Mark III, which blasts off today, will lift Isro’s capacity to launch bigger commercial satellites. Yet the agency needs more. It has even been secretly preparing for it
The Mark III uses a very different cryogenic stage than the one on the GSLV, simpler in design and two and a half times more powerful than the latter. So far, this stage and its engine have only been tested on the ground
Today will see the rocket’s first developmental flight, with all its stages operational. A successful flight means it’d be able to launch communication satellites that were being launched abroad at a considerable cost
But given the evolving nature of space requirements, GSLV Mark III may not suffice. Isro certainly needs to improve its ability to put higher and higher mass objects into space for multiple reasons
Turns out, Isro has been secretly working on another technology with some Ukrainian help
At the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, India’s sole spaceport in Sriharikota, a hulking metal form looms over the Second Launch Pad. Isro’s newest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, is ready to take to the skies this evening.
Isro officials will be keeping their fingers crossed. The performance of the rocket’s cryogenic stage, running on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, will be of particular concern. Very much on their minds will be the memory of what happened when the Mark III’s older sibling, the GSLV, flew with the first domestically made cryogenic stage in 2010. The…
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