It will feature an indigenous cryogenic engine in its third stage
The refurbished Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) is getting ready to lift off at 4.18 p.m. on January 5, 2014, from the second launch pad at Sriharikota and it will put the communication satellite GSAT-14 into orbit. The GSLV-D5 will feature an indigenous cryogenic engine in its third, uppermost stage.
“We are moving towards the launch by January 5,” said K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). “All the four stages of the vehicle have already been integrated. The satellite will be mated with the launch vehicle by December 27,” he added.‘All checks completed’
The Mission Readiness Review (MRR) team will meet on December 27 to give the formal clearance for the launch. “By then, everything would have been inspected. All checks on the vehicle would have been completed. Phase III, level I checks have already been done,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan.
ISRO is looking forward to this launch because the GSLV-D5 uses an indigenous cryogenic engine and the vehicle suffered a major snag on August 19, 2013 on the day of the launch. About 75 minutes before the lift-off, the liquid fuel in the propellant tank in the rocket’s second stage started leaking and rained down on the vehicle, forcing ISRO to call off the launch. Fumes engulfed the first and second stages of the vehicle, causing tense moments.
The leak was blamed on the fuel tank made of aluminium alloy called Afnor 7020 which tended to develop cracks over a period of time. The GSLV-D5 was dismantled and the “restoration process” done under the guidance of K. Narayana, former Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The GSAT-14 communication satellite, which was encapsulated in the heat shield, was preserved and tested periodically.
Since the liquid fuel leaked from the second stage tank made of aluminium alloy Afnor 7020, the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), ISRO, Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu, came up with a new second stage with its propellant tank made of aluminium alloy 2219. The four strap-on booster motors were refurbished. The rocket’s first stage, which uses solid propellants, has been replaced with a new one. The restored vehicle has new electronic components because the components in the four strap-on motors in the earlier vehicle had become wet from the fuel leak.‘Critical components tested’
“Everything is going perfectly well [for the launch on January 5],” said M.C. Dathan, Director, LPSC, on Saturday evening. “Eighty per cent of the systems in the GSLV-D5, including the four strap-on liquid motors, the second liquid stage and the cryogenic stage are from the LPSC,” he said. The GSLV-D5’s cryogenic stage had been stored for the past three months-and-a-half. Mr. Dathan added: “The cryogenic stage’s critical components and valves have been tested, and found in good condition. There are three levels of checks on the vehicle. Phase III, level I checks have been done. This means all the fluid lines and electrical circuits have been checked. Everything is giving results as expected. We are ready to go ahead with the launch.”
The GSLV-D5 is a three-stage, 414-tonne and 49-metre tall vehicle.