India’s heaviest rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III)– carrying 3,423 kg communication satellite GSAT-29 blasted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Wednesday evening.
Precisely at 5.08 p.m. the GSLV-Mk III rocket on its second developmental flight began its ascent with a strong deep growl that reverberated like a thunder roll breaking free from the second launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).
The 43.4-metre rocket weighing about 640 tonne rushed to the blue skies with thick orange flame at its rear.
The GSLV-Mk III with a capacity to carry four-tonne satellite, is a three-stage/engine rocket with two strap-on motors powered by solid fuel. The second stage is a core liquid fuel booster and the third is the cryogenic engine.
📡LIVE Now: Launch of GSLV Mk-III D2/ GSAT-29 Mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota https://t.co/nIwBVLhaBx
— PIB India (@PIB_India) November 14, 2018
The Indian space agency had flown a similar rocket on June 5, 2017, with GSAT-19 satellite. Prior to that ISRO had flown another rocket with 3.7-tonne dummy payload in 2014 to test its in-flight structural stability and aerodynamics.
On Wednesday, just over 16 minutes into its flight the rocket will sling the GSAT-29 at its intended orbit at an altitude of around 207 km.
According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), GSAT-29 with a life span of 10 years is a multi-beam satellite that carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders intended to meet the communication requirements of users including those in remote areas.
As we eagerly wait for the completion of the filling up of Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) for the cryogenic upper stage, which will set the tone for the launch in an hour, here’s a marvelous capture of the vehicle last evening. pic.twitter.com/YctnMhh90L
— ISRO (@isro) November 14, 2018
In addition, several new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will be demonstrated. This will help in realising future advanced satellites, ISRO said.
The satellite also carries a geo-high resolution camera.
India currently has two fully operational rockets — the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and GSLV-Mk II — with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes and a carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes.