ISRO developing satellite launch vehicle for heavy satellite launch
NEW DELHI, Jan 1, 2009: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing a new satellite launch vehicle capable of putting satellites as heavy as four tonnes into the orbit. The work assumes significance in the backdrop of the successful Indian mission to moon "Chandrayan" launched a couple of weeks back.
While the regular Indian satellite vehicle - GSLV (Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) - can put 2.2 tonne satellites in orbit, the new rocket will help Antrix Corporation, ISROs commercial arm, to offer cheapest space launches in the niche market, reported the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The report further stated that the year 2009 will see a series of tests in the development of the GSLV-Mark III, which is expected to take to the skies in 2010-11.
"The new year will see solid booster testing for the Mark III, followed by the liquid stage after which we will test the cryogenic engine stage," the report quoted K. Radhakrishnan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, as saying.
He added: "We are planning to have flight testing during 2010-11 period." Radhakrishnan further mentioned that ISRO will be able to pack more transponders in one space flight, and added: "This makes it a cost effective solution and will give us a niche in the world in launching four tonne satellites." The GSLV Mark III will also help ISRO put more Indians in space at one go. As per the current plans, the agency plans to send two Indians on a week-long space sojourn in 2015.
Further elaborating, Radhakrishnan said: "The regular GSLV will be used for the human spaceflight. In case we use Mark III, we can send three persons instead of two."