Delhi hopes new rocket can carry humans into space

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history on Monday as it successfully launched India's brand new and heaviest rocket - the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) - with the 3,136 kg communication satellite GSAT-19 on board, from the Sriharikota spaceport.

The first Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III rocket launches from India's Satish Dhawan Space Center Centre in Sriharikota on June 5, 2017.

A multi-beam satellite, the GSAT-19 carries Ka and Ku band forward and return link transponders and geostationary radiation spectrometer (GRASP), as per the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Launching heavy INSAT-class satellites of 3.5 tonnes from the European Space Agency now incurs a cost of Rs 800 crore each, GSLV Mk III Vehicle Director J Jayaprakash told The Times Of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the launch team for the success of the mission.

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India presently has two rockets - the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and GSLV-Mk II - with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes and a carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes. However, scientists say it will take another several years to achieve this landmark.

Despite the initial setbacks, GSLV Mk II was developed and the rocket, fired by an indigenously made cryogenic engine, had four consecutive successful launches since January 2014.

The amount of time and energy that was invested that CUSP (Cryogenic Upper Stage Project) and MkII demanded, "We could have completed the same [MkIII] activity five years back", said Dr. Sivan, who named the elusive MkII the "naughty boy" of the Indian space.

Reportedly, the ISRO has asked Rs. 12,500 crore from the Centre for its mission to place humans in space.

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The GSAT-19 is the heaviest satellite ISRO has ever launched, demonstrating new capability to launch heavier payloads.

A successful launch of the 640-tonne rocket will be another feather in the cap for scientists at ISRO.

Besides this, the other advance system that constitute GSLV-Mk III include navigation, guidance & control system and stage separation systems. Monday's launch carried the almost 7,000-pound GSAT-19 satellite, which has a 10-year life cycle and is meant to improve telecommunications and Internet services. According to ISRO, the cryogenic engine has been developed completely from scratch - which means ISRO has the complete intellectual ownership for using the technology. The satellites with the weight sent to orbit, only the US, Russia, European space Agency, China and Japan. "Some engineers have spent their life working on this", Mathieu Weiss, a representative in India for France's space agency CNES, said.

Isro began work on building indigenous cryogenic engine in the 1970s, though it gained momentum after Russian Federation denied transfer of technology.

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