The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), the heaviest rocket ever made by India and capable of carrying large payloads, is set for launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 5, 2017.
Here are a few facts you need to know about the rocket.
1. GSKV-Mk III is capable of launching four-tonne satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
2. The rocket is also capable of placing up to eight tonnes in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), enough to carry a manned module.
3. GSLV-Mk III’s first developmental flight, D1, will carry on June 5 the GSAT-19 satellite — developed to help improve telecommunication and broadcasting areas.
4. This is India’s first fully functional rocket to be tested with a cryogenic engine that uses liquid propellants — liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
5. It took about 25 years, 11 flights and over 200 tests on different components of the rocket for it to be fully realised.
6. The 640-tonne rocket, equal to the weight of 200 fully-grown Asian elephants, is the country’s heaviest but shortest rocket with a height of 43 metre.
7. GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C-25).
8. ISRO successfully conducted the static test of its largest solid booster S200 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on January 24, 2010. The successful test of S200, which forms the strap-on stage for the GSLV, makes it the third largest solid booster in the world. The static test of liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle was done at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre test facility as early as March 2010.
9. C-25, the large cryogenic upper stage of the GSLV, is the most difficult component of the launch vehicle to be developed. ISRO successfully ground-tested the indigenously developed C-25 on February 18, 2017.
10. If successful, the GSLV-Mk III — earlier named as Launch Vehicle Mark-3 or LVM-3 — could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch people into space.