The Glorious GSLV Mk-III

There has been a buzz about the Tollywood movie Baahubali that smashed all box-office records and is widely known for its setting and special effects.Well, recently ISRO came up with its own version of Baahubali! The GSLV Mk III that was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre , Sriharikota on June 5th ,2017 is lovingly also called fat boy and Baahubali by the Indian Media.

So what’s so great about this launch?

First of all, a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is a launch system developed by ISRO to launch INSAT/GSAT satellites. A GSLV is three stage vehicle i.e it has a solid, liquid and a cryogenic stage respectively.

Standing tall at 43.43metres, the Mk-III had a lift-off mass of 640 tonnes which is 226 tonnes more than the Mk-II’s 414. The GSLV Mk-III is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of GSLV Mk II.

Some interesting facts that you may or may not have known about Mk-III:

– As of now, for launching heavier satellites into orbits India pays other space agencies a whopping sum of Rs.400 Crore. As a part of the India-France Space Cooperation, India relied on the French Ariane 5 Rocket to launch its heavy satellites. The successful launch of Mk-III has made India not only independent but also a major International player in launching satellites for other countries. Think of how much revenue this would generate for the country!

The cryogenic third stage developed by India. It is said to be the most powerful upper-stage cryogenic engine in the world

– The development of the rocket started back in the early 2000’s and was scheduled for a launch in 2009-2010. It was delayed after the attempt to place the GSLV Mk-II into orbit failed in 2010. After more than 11 flight tests, the rocket was finally ready for take-off.

– In the near future, this rocket is expected to carry Indian astronauts into space. What’s interesting is that ISRO has suggested the first person to fly into space from India could be a woman.

-It would employ advanced spacecraft technologies, including bus subsystem experiments in the electrical
propulsion system, indigenous Li-ion battery and indigenous bus bars enabling high current power distribution.

The GSLV Mk III standing in it’s full glory

With more successful launches from ISRO yet to come, the Mk-III has made it clear to the world yet again that India is not far behind. Jai Hind.

N. Subbalakshmi

Third Year ECE

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