Sriharikota (AP), July 22 : After an experimental and two successful developmental flights, GSLV-Mk-III, India's thus far the heaviest launch vehicle, was declared operational last year.
It was the same vehicle, which ISRO will be using for the even more dream, challenging and ambitious project, the manned Space Mission, scheduled in 2022, for sending three Astronauts into space for a week.
The vehicle has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and the indigenously developed complex cryogenic upper stage (C-25).
The 43.43 m tall GSLV Mk III is designed to carry four ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of GSLV Mk-II.
GSLV-Mk-II's first experimental, the LVM3-X/CARE mission, lifted off from Sriharikota on December 18, 2014 and successfully tested the atmospheric phase of flight.
Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment was also carried out in this flight. The module re-entered, deployed its parachutes as planned and splashed down in the Bay of Bengal, ISRO said.
It was followed by the first developmental flight of GSLV-Mk-III, the GSLV-Mk III-D1 which successfully placed GSAT-19 satellite into the GTO on June 5, 2017.
GSLV MkIII-D2, the second developmental flight, successfully launched GSAT-29, a high throughput communication satellite on November 14, 2018 after which the 'naughty boy' as it is called, was declared having entered into the operational phase.
Though ISRO has mastered launching of PSLV missions without any hitch, it had problems in GSLV missions, after Russia stopped sending cryogenic stage, prompting the Indian Space agency to go for indigenous development of the third stage.
The ISRO scientists rose to the occasion in unison, mastered the technology, despite twin successive failures of GSLV-Mk-II in 2010, after conducting several successful full duration tests at the Liquid Propulsions Systems Centre in Mahendragiri.
This resulted in four successive GSLV-Mk-II missions and then the GSLV-Mk-III.
Buoyed by the three successfull missions of the heaviest rocket, Dr Sivan and his team scripted yet another success story with a text-book style launch of Chandrayaan-2. (UNI)