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India eyes manned space missions after successful satellite launch


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully launched its heaviest and most powerful rocket GSLV Mark III carrying GSAT-19 communication satellite on Monday.

Precisely at 5:28 PM, the GSLV-Mk III rocket, on its maiden flight, began its ascent towards space from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC).

The successful launch of the GSLV MK III adds to the remarkable achievements of ISRO that has seen nine launches placing 32 satellites in orbit previous year.

Following the GSLV-Mark III's success, India can now launch four-tonne satellites on its own rocket instead of paying huge amounts of money to foreign space agencies to execute the operation.

"The GSLV - MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission takes India closer to the next generation launch vehicle and satellite capability".

GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. "The nation is proud of this significant achievement".

India has successfully launched its heaviest rocket, as well as a communication satellite weighing over 3,136kg - the heaviest satellite launched from Indian soil.

In the last three years India's space program has come into global limelight with a series of landmark programs: In 2014, it sent the world's cheapest mission to Mars, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi points out cost less than the Hollywood movie "Gravity".

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Approved in 2002, the three-stage vehicle comes with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C25)-powered by a CE-20, India's largest cryogenic engine, designed and developed by the liquid propulsion systems centre.

In February, ISRO made headlines when it launched a record-breaking 104 satellites into space atop just one rocket.

Cheap cost of labor and government support has meant that India can put satellites into space at 70% less than rival countries.

India has already sent its first man, Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma, into space in 1984, but that launch was facilitated by the erstwhile USSR on board the Soyuz T-11 rocket.

This will also be the first developmental flight of the GSLV-MkIII, which is capable of carrying heavy payloads.

Moreover, Isro has asked for Rs 12,500 crore from the Indian government to put an astronaut in space, said a report in NDTV. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II (GSLV-Mk II) which is now in operation is fourth generation launch vehicle and it is a three-stage vehicle, the stage is all important cryogenic stage.

"These two technologies in the days to come are going to create revolutions in the application of space-based technologies for the common man of the country in a cost effective and more efficient way", he said.

"This cryogenic engine is out- and-out indigenous".

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