GSLV and the future of Indias Space Program

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is India's largest launch vehicle, intended to eventually launch INSAT type communication satellites, to make India less dependent on foreign rockets for INSAT launches, Till now all the INSATs have been launched using foreign launch facilities at exorbitant costs. Once GSLV become operational, India will have total control over its INSAT program.The GSLV is a three stage rocket, the first stage of which uses solid propellant motor and second stage uses a liquid propellant motor. It also uses four liquid strap on boosters and cryogenic third stage. The solid first and liquid second stages of GSLV are carried over from the PSLV.

The GSLV is designed to place a payload of approximately 500 kg in to an easterly low earth orbit, or a 2200 kg pay load, into a geosynchronous transfer. Three development flights of GSLV have already taken place. Once operational, all INSATs in future are to be launched from India soil using the GSLV.The cryogenic engine is a crucial component of GSLV. It uses liquid Oxygen and liquid hydrogen stored at very low temperature as propellants and produces the maximum thrust per unit weight. Without a cryogenic upper stage, it would be impossible to place a 2500 kg satellite in to GTO.

The GSLV will initially use cryogenic upper stage engine supplied by Russia, but subsequently, indigenously developed cryogenic engines will be used. ISRO has already designed and built a full scale cryogenic engine for use in the GSLV and tests on indigenous cryogenic engine have been successful.


By: Raju KR

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