By Venkatachari Jagananthan
Chennai, Aug 27 (IANS) The Indian space agency would, in all probability, declare its GSLV rocket variant -the GSLV-Mk II – fully operational if it successfully puts the GSAT-6 communication satellite into orbit, a senior official of Indian space agency said.
By putting GSAT-6 into orbit, the GSLV rocket would also shed its ‘developmental flight’ tag.
“The rocket will be declared fully operation once this mission ends successfully,” K. Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) told IANS on Thursday.
The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket and has a total carrying capacity of around 2.2 tonne. The first stage is fired with solid fuel, the second with liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.
The Indian space agency is flying the GSLV rocket with its own cryogenic engine for the second time on Thursday after the successful launch of a similar rocket in January 2014 that put the GSAT-14 into orbit.
A cryogenic engine is more efficient as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt.
This is the fifth time ISRO is flying a GSLV rocket carrying a satellite weighing over two tonnes. Of the four earlier missions, three failed due to various reasons and one was successful.
Sivan said the rocket has the capacity to carry the 2,117 kg GSAT-6.
“During the last mission, the satellite weight was less than two tonnes. The rocket would have carried the satellite even if the latter weighed two tonnes,” Sivan said.
(Venkatachari Jagananthan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)