India today successfully launched an advance communication satellite GSAT-29, the heaviest satellite built by the country, into space using its most powerful Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mark III D2.
This was the second flight of this powerful rocket which will also be used for India’s moon mission as it has been declared operational by India’s space agency ISRO.
The GSLV Mark III D2 vehicle carrying 3,423 kilogram GSAT-29 satellite lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota today evening at 5.08 pm and it injected the satellite in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit after 17 minute flight.
After injection, ISRO’s master control facility at Hassan has taken over the control of the satellite.
ISRO Chairman K Sivan said: “India has achieved significant milestone with our heaviest launcher lifting off the heaviest satellite from the Indian soil.
Declaring the operationalisation of GSLV MK III, ISRO chairman said that Chandrayaan-2 and Gaganyaan missions will be launched by this heavy-lifter.
In the coming days, three orbit raising manoeuvers will be executed to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at its designated location.
GSAT-29 is a multi band, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies.
Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.
In addition, the Q/V-Band communication payload onboard is intended to demonstrate the future high throughput satellite system technologies.
Geo High Resolution Camera will carry out high resolution imaging.
Optical Communication Payload will demonstrate data transmission at a very high rate through optical communication link.
GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Two massive boosters with solid propellant constitute the first stage, the core with liquid propellant form the second stage and the cryogenic engine completes the final stage.
Mission Director of GSLV Mark III Jayakumar B said that industry partners played a key role in this mission.
Pankaj Damodar, the project director of GSAT-29 said the launch will help to bridge the digital divide.
He also said several next generation payload technologies will soon be demonstrated through this mission.
The success of GSLV Mark III-D2 marks an important milestone in achieving self-reliance in launching heavier satellites.
The success of this flight also signifies the completion of the experimental phase of GSLV Mark III.
The first successful mission of GSLV Mark III was an experimental suborbital flight in 2014.
Subsequently, GSLV Mark III-D1 launched GSAT-19, a high throughput communication satellite, with a lift-off weight of 3150 kg into geosynchronous transfer orbit on 5 June 2017.