India's heaviest rocket lifts off with communication satellite GSAT-29

Published: Nov 14, 2018, 19:11 IST | IANS

The Indian space agency had flown a similar rocket on June 5, 2017, with GSAT-19 satellite

India's Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42), on board NovaSAR and S1-4, Satellites from SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd) of United Kingdom, launches at Satish dawan space center in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Pic/AFP
India's Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO), Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C42), on board NovaSAR and S1-4, Satellites from SSTL (Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd) of United Kingdom, launches at Satish dawan space center in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Pic/AFP

India's heaviest rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III)-- carrying 3,423 kg communication satellite GSAT-29 blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Wednesday evening. Precisely at 5.08 p.m. the GSLV-Mk III rocket on its second developmental flight began its ascent with a strong deep growl that reverberated like a thunder roll breaking free from the second launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).

The 43.4-metre rocket weighing about 640 tonne rushed to the blue skies with a thick orange flame at its rear. The GSLV-Mk III with a capacity to carry four-tonne satellite, is a three-stage/engine rocket with two strap-on motors powered by solid fuel. The second stage is a core liquid fuel booster and the third is the cryogenic engine.

The Indian space agency had flown a similar rocket on June 5, 2017, with GSAT-19 satellite. Prior to that ISRO had flown another rocket with 3.7-tonne dummy payload in 2014 to test its in-flight structural stability and aerodynamics. On Wednesday, just over 16 minutes into its flight the rocket will sling the GSAT-29 at its intended orbit at an altitude of around 207 km.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), GSAT-29 with a lifespan of 10 years is a multi-beam satellite that carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders intended to meet the communication requirements of users including those in remote areas.

In addition, several new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will be demonstrated. This will help in realising future advanced satellites, ISRO said. The satellite also carries a geo-high resolution camera.

India currently has two fully operational rockets -- the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and GSLV-Mk II -- with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes and a carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes.

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