The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday launched the GSAT-19 satellite, one of the heaviest communication satellites, with the GSLV MK III-D1 rocket. The rocket became the heaviest to be launched by the Indian space agency ever with the heaviest single payload put in orbit as well.
The rocket lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota at 5.28 pm. The rocket has the capability to carry a payload as heavy as 4,000 kg and put in into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It can also carry a 10,000 kg payload and put in into the Low Earth Orbit.
A jubilant Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said it “is a historic day” and the the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (MkIII D-1) has successfully demonstrated its capabilities with the injection of GSAT-19 into the desired orbit.”It is a great success in the first maiden attempt and GSLV MkIII has successfully put in orbit GSAT-19 which is a next generation satellite,” Kumar said.”I wish to congratulate the entire team which has relentlessly worked each day for today’s launch from 2002,” he added.
The launch marks another success for India’s space agency that has made record-setting launches during the past year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on today’s launch success. “Congratulations to the dedicated scientists of ISRO for the successful launch of GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission,” PM Modi tweeted.
Kudos came from President Pranab Mukherjee as well. He tweeted: “Heartiest congratulations to ISRO on the historic launch of GSLV-Mk III. GSLV-Mk III is the heaviest rocket ever made by India and is capable of carrying the heaviest satellites made till date. The nation is proud of this significant achievement.”
ISRO has plans to use the rocket for manned missions in the future. The rocket is a three-stage launch vehicle which has two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage. The rocket is 43.39 metre in height which is roughly the height of a 12-storey building.
Today’s GSLV mission is significant for India as ISRO had been depending on foreign launchers for orbiting communication satellites weighing more than 2,300 kgs. The GSLV MkIII-D1 is capable of lifting payloads or satellites weighing upto 4,000 kgs into the GTO and 10,000kgs into the Low Earth Orbit. It was a textbook launch as every stage of the three-stage GSLV MkIII with indegeneous cryogenic engine performed well.