New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday said that the experimental test of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III or GSLV Mk III will be carried out in mid-December.
“In mid-December, we will have the experimental flight of the GSLV Mk III. It will not launch a satellite in this flight, and will be passive in the upper stage," said ISRO Chief K Radhakrishnan, adding that it will be ready for developmental flight in two years.
Addressing the 50th Foundation Day of Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Radhakrishnan said the satellite launch vehicle will have a capacity of carrying approximately four tonnes of load, and will be able to launch heavier satellites in space.
The vehicle is 42.4 metres tall compared to the other GSLVs which is 49 metres tall. It will be a three-stage vehicle.
Development for GSLV Mk III began in the early 2000s, with the first launch planned for 2009-2010.
But, several factors including the April 15, 2010 failure of the ISRO-developed cryogenic upper stage on the GSLV Mk II, delayed the programme.
Radhakrishnan said while the cryogenic engine used in the launch vehicle is being developed totally indigenously, making India one of the few countries with the technology, the country still lagged behind several other countries in the capacity of its launch vehicles.
The ISRO chief informed that China has launch vehicles with 5.5 tonnes capacity, Europe has 11 tonnes capacity launch vehicle, US has 13 tonnes capacity launch vehicles and Russia has nearly 10 tonnes capacity vehicles.
He added that the long term target is to make a launch vehicle with 12 tonnes capacity.
(With IANS inputs)