New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday added another feather to its already flooding cap by successfully launching its heaviest homegrown rocket until date, the GSLV-Mk III, from the spaceport of Sriharikota.
Addressing the Media immediately after the launch, ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar has confirmed that the GSLV MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission has been successful.
Precisely at 5.28 p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2017, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III), carrying GSAT-19, lifted off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
Just over 16 minutes into the launch, ISRO's heavy-duty rocket, powered by cryogenic engine, successfully placed the GSAT-19 satellite into the orbit in its first developmental flight.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on successful launch of the GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission.
Congratulations to the dedicated scientists of ISRO for the successful launch of GSLV – MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 5, 2017
President Pranab Mukherjee also congratulated ISRO scientists on historic launch of India's heaviest rocket.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) June 5, 2017
The countdown began at 3.58 p.m. on Sunday, 25 hours and 30 minutes ahead of the launch.
The GSLV MkIII-D1, weighing 640 tonnes and standing 43.43 metres tall, is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10,000 kg into the Low Earth Orbit.
The mission's success will enable India to launch four-tonne satellites on its own rocket instead of paying huge amounts of money to foreign launchers to execute the operation.
The rocket's main and bigger cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists at ISRO.
Dubbed 'monster rocket by the scientists, the GSLV-Mk III-D1 is a three-stage vehicle with indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine designed to carry heavier communication satellites into the GTO.
According to ISRO, GSAT-19 with a life span of 10 years is a multi-beam satellite that carries Ka and Ku band forward and return link transponders and geostationary radiation spectrometer.