The twenty five and a half hour countdown for the launch of Indian Space Research Organization ISRO's heaviest ever rocket GSLV Mark III D-1 has begun at 3.58 this evening. Launching heavy INSAT-class satellites of 3.5 tonnes from the European Space Agency now incurs a cost of Rs 800 crore each, GSLV Mk III Vehicle Director J Jayaprakash told The Times Of India.
India's space agency ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is all set to launch its heaviest and most powerful rocket until date, the GSLV Mk III-D1, on 5 June.
"We did not face any serious test failures while developing the crucial cryogenic engine that powered the rocket", Somanath said. But it was delayed as the space agency had to focus on their immediate requirements including development of Vikas engine, which now powers both PSLV and GSLV.
Previously, India has relied on paying the French to launch its satellites that weighed more than 2,300 kilograms.
In February, the space agency put 104 micro satellites into orbit in a single launch.
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In tomorrow's mission, the vehicle is scheduled to launch the GSAT-19 into the GTO at 16.20 minutes after lift off. Heavy rocket and heavy satellite is a cost effective combination in the space field.
The flight's launch is expected to boost India's assertions of putting humans into space. He tweeted: "Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III".
ISRO has plans to use the rocket for manned missions in the future. On whether India would go overseas for future launches, he said the country had not used foreign launch vehicles to put satellites in lower Earth orbit since 1995.
The GSAT-19's launch machine GSLV Mark-III is no less in terms of weight-it weighs 640 tonnes and stands tall at 43.43 metres. So far, the United States, Russia, Europe, China and Japan have achieved this feat. "It was the same team working for all", said K Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Right now, out of a constellation of 41 in-orbit Indian satellites, there are 13 communication satellites Also, the total mission life of the GSAT-19 is a decade. Besides, it carries a geostationary radiation spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components.
In this, the GSAT-19 is said to be precursor to the GSAT-11, a 5.8 tonne mega satellite that will push the country's satellite-based internet capabilities to new levels.