Chennai, Aug 18: It is important to perfect early the technology for India’s heavy rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) as seven satellites are lined up to be launched by this rocket, the chief of India’s space agency said Sunday.
“We have lined up seven satellites — communication and earth observation — to be launched with the GSLV rocket. Even the Chandrayaan-2 (mission to moon) will be launched with GSLV rocket. Hence, it is important for us to get the rocket technology perfected,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told IANS over phone from Sriharikota.
He said communication satellites like GSAT 6A, GSAT 7A and GSAT 9 and an INSAT series satellite were being planned to be launched with the GSLV rocket.
On the Monday evening launch of the GSLV-D5 rocket, with 1,982-kg GSAT-14 communication satellite, Radhakrishnan said: “It is a major milestone for us. We have put best efforts to understand the technology and put it into operation.”
He said everything pertaining to Monday’s launch was progressing smoothly and it was business as usual for the space scientists at the mission control centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.
The 29-hour countdown for the launch of India’s heavy rocket GSLV-D5, pregnant with communication satellite GSAT-14, began Sunday at 11.50 a.m.
“The rocket cost is around Rs.160 crore and the cost of the satellite is around Rs.45 crore,” an ISRO official told IANS, preferring anonymity.
This will be the first mission of the GSLV in the last three years, after two such rockets failed in 2010.
The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The first stage is fired with solid fuel, the second with liquid fuel and the third with the cryogenic engine.
ISRO officials told IANS that though the rocket’s rated carrying capacity was around 2.2 tonnes, it was decided to carry a sub-two tonne satellite with minimum number of transponders (receivers and transmitters of communication signals).
ISRO’s earlier attempts to fly a GSLV rocket carrying slightly over two tonne satellites ended in partial/total failures.