Monday, June 5, 2017

India Launches Its Largest Rocket

GSLV Mk III Lift Off. Photo Credit: ISRO

India launched its most powerful rocket to date. The GSLV Mk.3, which has two solid-fueled boosters, a twin-engine core and cryogenic upper stage, lifted off the pad at 7:58 a.m. EDT (11:58 GMT) on June 5, 2017, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island in India.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been developing this rocket since the early 2000s. However, a number of factors delayed the first flight, including a 2010 failure of the cryogenic upper stage on the smaller GSLV Mk.2 rocket.

ISRO conducted a suborbital test on the system in December 2014. During that flight, the vehicle had a dummy upper stage, as well as a test version of the country’s future crew capsule.

The GSLV Mk.3 is able to send satellites almost two times as heavy as the country’s current launch vehicles. The 143-foot (43-meter) tall rocket sports a new first stage design and an upper stage based on the GSLV Mk.2’s.

The vehicle can lift up to 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms) into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and about 18,000 pounds (8,000 kilograms) to low-Earth orbit. The maiden flight carried the GSAT-19 communications satellite, which weighs about 6,900 pounds (3,100 kilograms) and is the heaviest satellite ever launched from India, into GTO.

According to Gunter’s Space Page, the satellite will act as a test bed for a number of new technologies, such as deployable thermal radiators, electric propulsion, indigenous lithium-ion batteries, C-band and optical payloads. It is built on the I-6000 Buss and has two solar arrays.

GSAT-19 has a planned lifespan of 10 years and will support video broadcasting and data networking.

For the June 5 maiden flight, the pre-flight activities went smoothly. Once the countdown reached zero, the two 86-foot (26-meter) tall solid-fueled S200 boosters ignited and began pushing the vehicle skyward away from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center. The two boosters provided a peak thrust of 2.2 million pounds-force (9,800 kilonewtons).

About 1 minute, 54 seconds into flight, the core stage’s two Vikas engines ignited and began burning hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. At the time of ignition, the rocket was already more than 25 miles (41 kilometers) in altitude.

At two minutes, 20 seconds into the flight, the two S200 boosters separated and fell away. Just over a minute later, the payload fairing separated, revealing the GSAT-19 satellite.

Burning for a few more minutes, the core stage cut off as planned at 5 minutes, 17 seconds. It separated from the upper stage three seconds later.

Once the upper stage’s CE-20 engine ignited, the vehicle continued pushing for geostationary transfer orbit. The engine burned liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for nearly 11 minutes before cutting off at 16 minutes, 5 seconds.

At this point, the vehicle and satellite were in an orbit of about 105 miles (170 kilometers) by 22,353 miles (35,975 kilometers) with an inclination of 21.5 degrees. The GSAT-19 satellite separated at 16 minutes, 20 seconds into the mission.

Over the next days and weeks, the satellite will use its onboard thrusters to circularize its orbit.

Written by: Derek Richardson
Original source:

1 comment:

  1. He explained that several technological developments were made for space programs that are being used by the common man at present. Megapixel camera, MRI, image processing and there are over 100 such more things that were developed for space missions and are now benefitting the life of every people on Earth. Every country citizen should understand the need of investing in research and development as it will repay by improving the future, said ISRO chief.

    Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chief A S Kiran Kumar trusts that India has capacity, innovation and framework to build up its own particular space station

    To achieve our space exploration goals we need to deal with two major problems.. The effects of 0 G on the human body and the effects of radiation on the human body..
    We need a large spacecraft to facilitate artificial gravity and some form of radiation mitigation.. Modular in construction for easy adaptability for different missions with different objectives.. Transporting astronauts up and down from the Earth's surface using any of the existing spacecraft to a larger craft that stays in space.. The same construction methods and resupply methods we currently employ for missions on the International Space Station.. A streamlining and standardization of space hardware manufacturing could make for more cost effective space exploration and science.. The same components used to construct a space vessel and orbiting platforms above the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Venus, Europa etc...Streamlined manufacturing systems have furthered nearly every industry in history.. Why not spaceflight?.. Practical solutions with long term policy commitments will make a progressive path to a better future.. Remember... Every dollar invested in space exploration returns more than 12 to the economy..

    This fundamental research will help pave the way for industry to be mining very valuable metals in space. Space based mining will provide vast economic gains for the industries involved and huge gains for the economy in the manufacture of equipment and high tech jobs.. Harvesting energy from space is an answer for powering our societies with clean renewable energy..
    NASA’s Resource Prospector aims to be the first mining expedition on another world. Using a suite of instruments to locate elements from a lunar polar region, the planned rover is designed to excavate volatiles such as hydrogen, oxygen and water from the moon.

    Societies thrive when they foster education.. This is very clear.. Investments in education by individuals or governments have large returns that are both tangible and qualitative..
    We need to open up all possibilities for citizens who wish to better themselves through education.. We can do this with a tiny expenditure...
    A web site with university programs that are free to access.. Accreditation is earned by writing a test at local libraries.. All reading material, educational video's and lectures, practice questions and assignments, Simulated labs, etc, etc.. All online free to access anytime, students start courses at any time and work at their own pace.. This can be done easily.. The value of having curriculum designed by professional educators and a system of earning accreditation accessible to everyone is certain to have untold benefits to society.. At every instance in history when more education has been made accessible to the general public the quality of life in that society has risen.. Lets make education accessible to all citizens..

    The Von Karmen Lecture series discusses the various technologies that NASA is using to further science and better our lives..