One of India’s most ambitious dreams became a reality on Sunday when its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5), powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine, effortlessly put the 1,982-kg GSAT-14 communication satellite into a perfect orbit after 17 minutes of flight.
The precision of the cryogenic upper stage was such that it put the GSAT-14 into an orbit with a perigee of 179 km, against the target of 180 km, and the apogee achieved was off by a mere 50 km for a target of 36,000 km.
So What is so great about GSLV-D5 launch
GSLV stands for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. This vehicle is used to launch satellites on Earth Orbit. The GSLV vehicles developed by ISRO uses cryogenic technology to fuel the vehicle. India was totally dependent on other nations on this until now.
The grand success caps 20 years of hard work by ISRO’s engineers, after being denied cryogenic technology under pressure from the U.S., suffering a heartbreaking failure with an indigenous cryogenic engine flight in April 2010 and having had to scrub its second attempt with an indigenous cryogenic engine in August 2013. “I am proud to say that ISRO has done it…,” ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced.
This would not only reduce ISRO’s reliance on expensive foreign rockets, but would also open up the opportunity to use the GSLV for commercial launches. ISRO is already an established player in the small satellite launch market, thanks to PSLV. It now has a shot at expanding its own operations.
Further, the success of the GSLV-D5 holds great significance for future missions. Primary among this would be Chandrayaan-2 moon mission, which would need the GSLV.
The success with the cryogenic technology is also a major boost to ISRO’s plans to develop a high-thrust cryogenic engine for the GSLV-Mark III, the more powerful variant which the space agency is developing. ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan announced that the first experimental flight of the GSLV-Mark III would be launched in a matter of months.
So Indians be proud to be an Indian