The Indian Space Research Organization’s heavy lift rocket GSLV Mk III, which is the designated rocket for India’s first human space flight proposed for 2022, will undergo a key test on Wednesday when it launches a 3,423 kg communication satellite — GSAT 29.
The GSLV Mk III’s flight, scheduled for 5.08 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, will be the third flight undertaken by ISRO’s most powerful rocket.
The GSLV Mk III has so far undergone one experimental and one developmental flight and Wednesday’s flight will be the second developmental flight for the rocket.
The GSAT-29 satellite carries communication transponders that will provide communication links in remote areas of India. The satellite will provide communication services to the Northeast region and Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate execution of Digital India initiatives, the ISRO has stated.
The GSLV Mk III is designed to launch satellites in the 4,000 kg category into space. India is currently dependent on European launchers to put heavy satellites in space. The GSAT Mk III is also the rocket designated for ISRO’s second moon mission Chandrayaan 2 scheduled for next year.
The GSLV Mk III rocket is expected to undergo 10 flights, including two in an unmanned human space launch vehicle form, prior to the human space mission scheduled at present for 2022.