Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

ISRO puts heaviest satellite in orbit

ISRO puts heaviest satellite in orbit

India on Monday launched a communications satellite weighing three tonnes aboard its heaviest rocket, achieving a new milestone in space technology.

"We have started having electric propulsion for our satellites which would reduce its weight", the Indian Space Research Organisation chairman told reporters here after the successfully launch of advanced communication satellite GSAT-19 weighing 3,136 kg with its own brand new and heaviest next generation rocket GSLV-Mk III. GSLV Mk III is created to carry 4-ton class of satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit or about 10 tons to low earth orbit, the ISRO posted on its website.

Indian space scientists have finally tamed their "Naughty Boy", by successfully demonstrating the capability of the GSLV MkIII launch vehicle in its maiden attempt.

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The vehicle is capable of carrying 2,500 kg to geostationary orbit, and 5,000 kg to low-Earth orbit. The mission launched the GSAT-19 communications satellite for India.

The rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) was developed over 15 years. The Indian space agency said earlier on Monday that the countdown process for its GSLV Mk-III launch was "progressing normally".

The rocket used a cryogenic engine, developed in India after the United States leaned on Russian Federation in the 1990s not to supply such a powerful engine in case it was used for missiles.

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It was a textbook launch as every stage of the three-stage GSLV MkIII with indegeneous cryogenic engine performed well. The GSLV Mark-III is equipped with an Indian cryogenic third stage and has a higher payload capacity compared to the current GSLV. The goal is to study and monitor the nature of the charged particles and influence of space radiation on spacecraft and electronic components. In a sense, ISRO has finally converted the GSLV into an "Obedient Boy"; the success could herald a big leap in India's space dreams, including in the lucrative heavier payload, commercial market.

The GSLV-Mk III being moved to second launch pad.

In a series of tweets, he said, "Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III". All the systems are in Sriharikota. "First week of June is when we are targeting this launch", he said.

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Mukherjee said the nation was proud of ISRO's achievement while Modi said the mission took India closer to next generation satellite capability.

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