Isro to send GSLV Mark III into space on Thursday

Isro to send GSLV Mark III into space on Thursday

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch its first experimental suborbital flight of India’s latest generation launch vehicle — GSLV Mark-III, carrying Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE), on December 18.

“The vehicle is already there at the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The countdown time will be decided on Tuesday,” a senior Isro official told Deccan Herald on Sunday.

The weatherman has predicted isolated rain over the coastal region in the next few days due to a low pressure trough formed over the Bay of Bengal under the influence of the North-East monsoon, which is active over the region.

Isro officials, however, are confident that the launch would not be affected even in case of heavy downpour.

“The rain does not matter as the vehicle is fully rain-proof. Even if it is drenched, the launch would take place as per schedule,” the official said.

The mission assumes significance as this experimental flight is to validate the complex atmospheric ascent regime of the all new launcher, especially the aerodynamic and control features that cannot be conclusively tested on ground.

The official, who is inspecting the launch activities with other scientists, added that several design changes have been incorporated in the rocket after studying previous GSLV rockets and the issues faced by them. According to him, this sub-orbital flight, the launcher, would climb to an altitude of about 125 km. The official pointed out that Isro has spent about Rs 150 crore for the experimental mission and will not carry any satellite as the cryogenic engine needed for the purpose is still under development.

“This is just a crew module, it will not carry any living being and is only for study purposes. The main objective of the crew module is to demonstrate its re-entry flight and aero braking, and end-to-end parachute system validation,” he said.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, a CARE Module is planned to be injected at this altitude. This module has been realised to validate a number of technologies developed under Isro’s “Critical Technologies for Human Spaceflight Programme”. The module is planned to be recovered from the Bay of Bengal after the splash down.

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