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New launch in quest for space success

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 23: The country is set to launch its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with indigenous cryogenic engine. The GSLV is a dispensable launch system that would make India less dependent on foreign rockets.

“Our major objective is to have a GSLV flight with indigenous cryogenic engine. For that, assembly of the rocket GSLV-D5 will commence within a week in Sriharikota. It would be launched towards the end of April or beginning of May,” said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of Indian Space Research Orginisation (Isro), who was here today to attend an event at KIIT University.

Radhakrishnan, who is also the chairman of space commission and secretary of space department, said the GSLV Mark-III, which can carry communication satellites worth nearly four tonnes, is being developed and an experimental mission will take place this year.

It is aimed at enhancing the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the commercial launch market as it can launch heavier communication satellites of Insat-4 class. Insat or Indian National Satellite System is a series of multipurpose geo-stationary satellites launched by Isro for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology and search and rescue operations.

He also discussed India’s Rs 470-crore Mars mission, expected to take place this November when the red planet will be closer to Earth.

“Our first objective is to put a satellite in Earth’s orbit by using our own polar satellite launch vehicle. The move towards Mars will happen in about 300 days using propulsion system of the satellite,” said Radhakrishnan.

The spacecraft will cover a distance of 55 million kms away from the Earth.

Responding to questions of KIIT students, Radhakrishnan denied any human space mission being undertaken in the country at present. “We are working in the field of critical technologies including life support system and environmental control required for such mission,” he said.

During the interaction, Radhakrishnan highlighted the scope of science and technology and space debris.