Wednesday, December 17, 2014

India's new rocket will test 'Crew Module'

The countdown has started for the first experimental flight of India's new satellite launch vehicle, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III). Launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, the unmanned rocket will carry a "Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE)."

The GSLV-Mk III is a launch vehicle currently under development by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). GSLV-Mk III is conceived and designed to make the ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh between 4,500 and 5,000 kilograms. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market. The vehicle will have a multimission launch capability for geosynchronous transfer orbit, low earth orbit, polar and intermediate circular orbits.

The GSLV-Mk III is designed to be a three-stage vehicle 42.4 meters tall with a liftoff weight of 630 tons. The first stage comprises two identical S200 Large Solid Boosters with 200 tons of solid propellant that are strapped to the second stage, the L110 restartable liquid stage. The third stage is the C25 LOX/LH2 cryo stage. The payload fairing measures five meters in diameter.

The GSLV-Mk III is scheduled for liftoff at 11:00 p.m. EST Wednesday.

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