India launches heaviest rocket, enters big league

India launches heaviest rocket, enters big league

The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday launched its heaviest rocket from Sriharikota near here.

The rocket, GSLV Mark III, carried a 3,136-kg communication satellite to its orbit. At 5.28 pm, the rocket took off from the second launch pad at India’s spaceport, about 90 km from north Chennai.

About 16 minutes into its flight, the rocket successfully placed the communication satellite GSAT 19 in its intended orbit.

Soon after the success, Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said it was a historic day.Work on the heavy rocket began in 2002, and it has gone into space within 15 years, he said. He congratulated the team and said it had worked hard on the mission.

An Isro official said the design and development of GSLV Mk III drew from the organisation’s rich experience in handling solid, liquid and cryogenic rocket propulsion technologies.

The first suborbital test flight of the rocket was successfully conducted on December 18, 2014. The GSAT 19, with a lift-off mass of 3,136 kg, is the communication satellite of India, an official note said. It carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders.

Besides, it carries a geostationary radiation spectrometer (abbreviated to Grasp) payload to monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components.

The satellite also features advanced spacecraft technologies and an indigenous lithium-ion battery, officials said.

Specialities
GSLV Mk III is as high as a 13-storey building
It can carry payloads of up to 4,000 kg
That’s the weight of five jumbo jet planes
The ‘monster’ rocket took 15 years to build
The launch propels India into a bigger league

Humans next
Isro has now sought Rs 12,500 crore to put humans in space. The project will take about seven years.

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