Home >science >news >GSLV Mark III to launch India’s heaviest satellite GSAT-19 this evening

Chennai: India will fire off on Monday the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, carrying its heaviest communication satellite yet. The launch planned for 5.28 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota will carry the 3,136-kg GSAT-19 communication satellite and place it a distance of 36,000km from earth.

“The GSLV Mark III would be carrying the GSAT-19 communications satellite that would help improve VSAT (very small aperture terminal) and data connectivity and other applications across the country," A.S. Kiran Kumar, secretary, department of space and chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) told Mint.

The satellite will use multiple spot beams covering all of India. Isro claims this will increase Internet speed and connectivity.

However, for this, the ground infrastructure needs to be in place too.

The rocket can carry 4,000kg into the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) at 36,000km and 10,000kg into the lower earth orbit (LEO) at around 800km.

The first suborbital test flight of GSLV Mark III was successfully conducted on 18 December 2014.

Kumar said the project was approved in 2002 but GSLV MK II delayed the MK III project. He said that the MK III’s success would mean that India would be able to launch communication satellites all of its own.

“It is a high-throughput communication satellite that has multiple applications," Kumar added.

The GSLV MK III is the next version of the operational launch vehicles after PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) and GSLV MK II. It is a fourth generation launch vehicle with a three-stage vehicle with four liquid strap-ons which include the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage (CUS) in the third stage.

After its separation from the GSLV MK III in GTO, satellite GSAT-19 will use its own propulsion system to reach its geostationary orbital home.

“Besides these systems, the other advanced systems that constitute GSLV MK III include navigation, guidance and control system and stage separation systems. The vehicle performance and its flight status are closely monitored by S-Band telemetry and C-band transponder respectively," according to Isro.

The flight is also expected to boost India’s manned space mission aspirations. But Isro is not considering this aspect at present.

“It’s one step at a time," Kumar said.

On 5 May, Isro launched the 2,230-kg South Asia GSAT-9 to boost connectivity among South Asian nations. The project involved eight countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Sri Lank, cost Rs235 crore. Pakistan was not part of the project.

Kumar said that there has been no cost determination yet for this project.

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