Countdown for launch of GSLV MARK III begins today

New Delhi : The first ever developmental flight of the launch vehicle GSLV Mark III D-1 (GSLV Mk III D-1) will be held tomorrow by the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, and the 25-and-a-half hour countdown for the epoch making launch will begin at 3.58 pm today at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta.

The most powerful ever rocket developed by the ISRO, will lift off the communication satellite GSAT-19 to a Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit GTO in space, after its ignition at 5.28 hours on Monday.

GSLV Mark III is capable of hurling payloads weighing up to 4 ton into a GTO that is about 36-thousand kilometres high during its farthest point from the earth and 170 kilometers during its nearest point.

The ISRO scientists will later maneuver the satellite to its final destination of 36000 kilometer circular orbit.

The three-stage rocket is powered by two solid strap-on motors at the bottom, a liquid propellant core stage and the cryogenic upper stage.

The highlight of tomorrow’s mission is the maiden flight of the ISRO’s latest launch vehicle GSLV Mark III.

All the three stages of the rocket, including its cryogenic engine are new in configuration. The rocket is scheduled to put into orbit the heaviest ever satellite to be launched from India, in its path breaking journey, from the second launch pad at Sriharikotta.

The communication satellite GSAT-19 weighs 3136 kilogram during lift off and its intended mission life is ten years.

The cryogenic engine for the GSLV Mark III is a vastly upgraded version of the one being used in the 2-ton class rocket GSLV-Mark II.

Once the latest launch vehicle proves its reliability repeatedly, dependence on launch missions from abroad could be reduced. (ANI)