M A I N   N E W S

GSLV propels India into exclusive club
ISRO’s heavy-duty rocket with indigenous cryogenic booster blasts off successfully, injects GSAT-14 into orbit
raj chengappa
in shriharikota

January 5
India joined the big league of space powers at 4.35 pm today when its mega launcher, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle or GSLV-D5, powered by sophisticated rocket technology, including for the first time an indigenously built state-of-the-art cryogenic booster, successfully blasted off from the Shriharikota (SHAR) launch pad in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
A textbook launch and a proud moment 
The 49.13-metre tall GSLV D5 rocket with an indigenous cryogenic engine and stage blasted off at 4.18 pm from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and injected the 1,982-kg GSAT-14 communication satellite into the intended orbit after 17.13 minutes flight

With this launch, ISRO became the sixth space agency in the world after US, Russia, Japan, China and France to have tasted success with an indigenous cryogenic engine

Launching a GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic engine has been a major challenge for ISRO since 2001 after multiple unsuccessful attempts 

GSLV D5's scheduled launch on August 19 last year was called off at the 11th hour after a fuel leak

GSAT-14 would join the group of India's nine operational geostationary satellites. The primary objective of this mission is to augment the in-orbit capacity of extended C and Ku-band transponders and provide a platform for new experiments

The towering rocket, which lifted off against the backdrop of a hazy sky, injected a heavyweight communication satellite, GSAT-14 in orbit 213 km above the Earth over Indonesia with what scientists described as “textbook” precision. In doing so, India became self-reliant in the zenith of rocketing technology that would enable the country to progressively propel satellites twice the weight of its current capability.

Inside the Master Control Centre, MCC, in SHAR as space scientists cheered and hugged each other, a smiling Dr K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), announced soon after the successful launch, “Team ISRO has done it. It is a major achievement and signals a coming of age and maturity of India’s space rocket technology. It is the culmination of a 20-year development effort that began in 1992. We have repaid our debt to the country.”

Though this was the eighth of the launches in the GSLV series, it was only for the second time that the indigenous cryogenic upper stage rocket was being tested. The first flight in 2010 ended in a failure.

Cryogenic rockets use super-cooled liquid fuels of hydrogen and oxygen that are stored in temperatures at minus180 degrees Celsius or even colder than those found in Antarctica. As compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellants, cryogenic rockets are considered far more efficient providing more thrust for every kilogramme of propellant used, enabling ISRO to carry heavier satellites of between 2 and 4-tonne class.

After Russia, under US pressure, reneged from a contract in 1992 to help India develop the cryogenic rocket technology, ISRO embarked on the difficult path of indigenously developing it. The engine used in the current flight was 20 years in the making. Meanwhile, Russia agreed to partially fulfil its commitment by supplying India with six fully assembled cryogenic engines so that the GSLV series could be initiated.

The GSLV-D5 was all set to be tested on August 19 last year, but the launch was aborted when a little over an hour before its scheduled blast-off, the second stage liquid fuel rocket developed cracks resulting in the propellant spraying itself over the lower stages of the 14-storey tall, three-stage space vehicle.

ISRO scientists worked round the clock to refurbish the two lower stages and ready GSLV-D5 for the January launch. GSLV Mission Director K Sivan, said, “It was a wonderful flight and we have given wings to GSLV by indigenously developing a cryogenic engine.”






HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |