GSLV-D5 Twin may be Launched This Year
To further build its confidence in the hard-won cryogenic technology, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch an ‘identical twin’ of the GSLV-D5 mission which had successfully flight-tested the Indian-made cryo stage last week.
The ISRO hopes to launch the ‘twin’ - GSLV-D6 - by July or August this year, ISRO officials said.
“The GSLV-D6 mission will ditto the GSLV-D5 which was used for the January 5 launch. It will build our confidence in the technology,” M C Dathan, director of ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), told ‘Express’.
The home-made cryogenic engine, which will power the upper stage of GSLV-D6, is “three-fourths” ready. Tests are currently underway on it, he said.
Like the GSLV D-5, D6 too will have a communication satellite of the GSAT series as payload.
A two-decade-long effort had paid off on January 5 with the GSLV D-5 successfully placing the GSAT-14 satellite in orbit and India in an exclusive league of spacefaring nations with cryogenic technology. But before this encore, ISRO has a try-out planned for the hefty GSLV Mk-III, the biggest rocket to be built in the country.
Scheduled for an April-May launch, it will be rigged with a far more powerful version of the cryogenic engine.
Although the rocket will have a valid first stage with strap-on motors, the upper stage powered by the cryogenic engine will not be carrying propellants.
“The first stage and strap-ons for the GSLV Mk-III are ready. If the experiment is successful, we hope to have the first regular launch of the Mk-III version by 2015-end or the beginning of 2016,” he said.