THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ( KERALA ): With its Mars mission sure to hog much of the spotlight in the weeks ahead, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has again put off an already-delayed mission; the keenly-awaited test-flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III), the giant among India’s rockets.
The ISRO is now planning to test-fly the GSLV Mk-III from Sriharikota only by October end at the earliest, sources said.
The reason for the delay is that the prototype of a two-man crew module for future manned space missions which is to be tested aboard the GSLV Mk-III, is not ready yet. Secondly, in the next few weeks, all ISRO activity will be centred around the Rs 450-crore Mars Orbiter Mission, whose tryst with the Red Planet is slated for September 24.
The GSLV Mk-III will help India become self-reliant in launching hefty satellites in the 4,000 kg to 5,000 kg class, helping ISRO gain an edge in the highly-competitive global market for launching commercial satellites. It will have a lift-off weight of 630 tonnes.