GSLV Mark III success takes India closer to manned missions

GSLV Mark III success takes India closer to manned missions

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) marked a crucial milestone on Thursday with the successful test of GSLV Mark III, the country’s heaviest launch vehicle yet that carried a crew module, taking India a step closer to manned space missions.

The 43.43-metre tall rocket, Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE), took off precisely at 9:30 am from second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), on this island in the Bay of Bengal, about 90 km north of Chennai.

The mission assumes more significance as this experimental flight is to validate the complex atmospheric ascent regime of this all new launcher, especially the  aerodynamic and control features that cannot be conclusively tested on ground. Isro scientists, including its Chairman K Radhakrishnan, at the mission control centre hugged each other in joy once the rocket ejected out the 3.7 ton crew module, which is the size of small room that can accommodate three persons.

“This is a significant day for the Indian space programme. The performance of the rocket was as expected. We had another experiment module — crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment — in this mission, which also worked exceedingly well,” Isro chief Radhakrishnan said. “The unmanned crew module splashed in Bay of Bengal as expected,” he added.

Stating that India started developing the Mark III rocket a decade ago, Radhakrishnan said this was the largest launch vehicle development programme that Isro undertook.
Radhakrishnan also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support and inspiration given to his team on the mission.

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