India launches "monster" rocket

The GSLV Mk III lifts off from the Sriharikota space centre on Monday

Top: ISRO's heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III, carrying communication satellite GSAT-19, takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Monday; Below: The ISRO team following the successful launch.

India yesterday scripted history as it successfully launched its heaviest rocket GSLV MkIII-D1 carrying communication satellite GSAT-19.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted at the time that the movie "Gravity" cost more to make", Washington Post writes.

The 43-meter (140-foot) rocket hurtled into a clear sky at 5:28 p.m. (1158 GMT) from the southern island of Sriharikota, one of two sites used by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch satellites. "The nation is proud.!"

Until now, India has had to depend on foreign space agencies to launch heavy communications satellites. Experts say the rocket gives India more flexibility in launching different kinds of satellites. He tweeted: "Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III".

GSAT 19 is also a commutations satellite weighting 3,136kg, and is configured around ISRO's standard I-3K bus.

The launch is a giant leap for ISRO because of the engine that is powering this rocket. In addition, it carries a geostationary radiation spectrometer (GRASP) payload for monitoring and studying the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components. All the four stages of ASLV as well as its two strap-ons used solid propellants. The GSLV MK-III may take the future astronauts into space and may all interplanetary missions and manned mission uses it in future.

GSLV-Mk III, which The Indian Express recently called a "monster" rocket, certainly lives up to its nickname.

GSLV MkIII can orbit payloads or satellites weighing upto 4,000 kgs into the GTO and 10,000 kgs into Low Earth Orbit.

The GSAT-18 satellite launched in 2016 using Arianespace's rocket weighed 3,404 kg which is well within the GSLV-Mk III's capacity. India's share of global launch services industry is about 0.6 percent, government data shows.

T Suvarna Raju, HAL CMD, said that HAL's Aerospace Division is the only facility in the country that manufactures such huge space worthy complex structures.

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