It was a great moment today for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and the entire country, as India's biggest home-made rocket GSLV MK III was successfully launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday launched the GSAT-19 satellite, one of the heaviest communication satellites, with the GSLV MK III-D1 rocket. These rockets use solid, liquid and cryogenic engines. ISRO Chairman, A.S. Kiran Kumar congratulated his team for the manner in which the launch took place seamlessly.
The first suborbital test flight of GSLV Mk III was successfully launched on December 14, 2016 and today's flight is the heaviest ever in ISRO history carrying GSAT-19, the communications satellite with a lift-off mass of 3136 kg.
The GSLV Mk III can carry up to 4,000 kilograms, which nearly doubles the previous capacity available to India's space program. The rocket is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the GTO and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit.
However, the rocket was later stabilised.
"The nation is proud", he added in another tweet.
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It carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders and is the heaviest satellite to be built and launched from the country.
The GSAT-19's launch machine GSLV Mark-III is no less in terms of weight-it weighs 640 tonnes and stands tall at 43.43 metres. It could even mean manned mission by India into space.
India has long worked towards developing its own cryogenic engine, the upper stage engine technology required to carry heavier communication satellites, as showcased in Monday's launch.
In the last three years India's space program has come into worldwide limelight with a series of landmark programs: In 2014, it sent the world's cheapest mission to Mars, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi points out cost less than the Hollywood movie "Gravity".
About the GSAT-19 satellite, Project Director P.K.Gupta said it is next generation satellite which will open lot of vistas in internet communication. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) launched for the first time in its full configuration, lofting the 6,914-pound GSAT-19 to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
On June 5, it launched a satellite weighing 3,136 kg (6,914 lb) - the heaviest India has tried to put in orbit.