The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is a launch vehicle developed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is designed to launch heavier communication satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbits (GTO) and geostationary orbits (GEO), which are commonly used for communication and weather satellites.
Here are some key points about the GSLV
- Configurations: The GSLV has different configurations, including the GSLV Mk-II and the more advanced GSLV Mk-III (also known as LVM3). The GSLV Mk-II has been operational since 2001, while the GSLV Mk-III was first launched in 2014.
- Payload Capacity: The GSLV Mk-II can carry satellites weighing up to 2,500 kilograms to GTO. The GSLV Mk-III has a higher payload capacity and can carry satellites weighing up to 4,000 kilograms to GTO.
- Stages: The GSLV Mk-II is a three-stage launch vehicle. The first stage, known as the S139, uses a solid propellant. The second stage, GS2, uses a liquid propellant fueled by a combination of UH25 (unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) and N2O4 (nitrogen tetroxide). The third stage, GS3, uses a cryogenic engine that runs on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
- Cryogenic Stage: The cryogenic stage is one of the distinguishing features of the GSLV. It is responsible for providing the additional thrust needed to reach GTO. The development of the cryogenic engine and stage was a significant milestone for ISRO’s space program.
- Launch Site: The GSLV is launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, India, which is the main spaceport for ISRO.
- Missions: The GSLV has been used for various missions, including launching communication satellites, weather satellites, and navigation satellites. It has also been utilized for experimental missions to test new technologies and capabilities.
The GSLV has been an important asset for India’s space program, as it enables the country to launch heavier satellites and reduces dependence on foreign launch vehicles. The GSLV project has contributed to the development of advanced launch vehicle technologies and has strengthened India’s position in the global space industry.