Now, ISRO Well on Course to Test Giant Rocket GSLV Mk-III

Work on India’s most powerful rocket to date, scheduled for an experimental flight in April, is progressing fast. 

Published: 30th January 2014 08:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2014 08:24 AM   |  A+A-


Work on India’s most powerful rocket to date, scheduled for an experimental flight in April, is progressing fast.  The first stage of the hefty Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) is ready, officials of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here said. Two S-200 boosters, which use solid fuel, comprise the first stage of Mk-III. This stage will burn for 130 seconds. ‘’The stage is ready. Work is now progressing on the second stage at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in Mahendragiri,’’ VSSC director S Ramakrishnan said. The GSLV Mk-III has three ‘stages’ in all.

The second stage uses liquid fuel - Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) with Dinitrogen Tetroxide. This stage - L 110 - has two advanced Vikas engines and will burn for 200 seconds. The upper, third stage uses a more powerful version of the cryogenic engine used on the recent GSLV D-5 mission. The engine has been designated CE-2O and uses Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Hydrogen as fuel. Theoretically, this stage will burn for 580 seconds, but the April flight being an experimental one, the cryo stage won’t be carrying propellant.

Tests are currently progressing on the engine at present, LPSC director M C Dathan said on the sidelines of a reception given to ISRO scientists here on Monday. ‘’The third test has been conducted successfully,’’ he said. At 42.4 metres, Mk-III is shorter than the regular GSLV, but it has a lift-off weight of around 630 tonnes compared to the latter’s 400 tonnes. Mk-III can place satellites weighing up to four tonnes in the geostationary transfer orbit, giving ISRO an edge in the market. If everything goes according to plan, the assembly of the rocket will begin at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, in February.

 ‘’The GSLV Mk-III will have a sub-orbital flight in April. It will have as payload a prototype of the crew module meant for the manned mission,’’ Ramakrishnan said.  Mk-III will lift off from the second launchpad at Sriharikota, the same one the

GSLV D-5 used on January 5. No modifications will be needed to the launchpad as it can accommodate the bigger GSLV, Ramakrishnan said. A regular flight of the Mk-III version is expected only by 2016.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp