It will put ISRO’s communication satellite GSAT-14 into orbit
Preparations are gathering strength for the lift-off of India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) from Sriharikota at 4.50 p.m. on Monday. The 29-hour countdown begins at 11.50 a.m. on Sunday.
The GSLV-D5 will put the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) advanced communication satellite called GSAT-14 in orbit. The vehicle is on the launch pad and it has been married with the satellite weighing 1,982 kg. The rocket weighs 414 tonnes and is 49 metres tall.
Indigenous cryogenic engine
The mission’s importance lies in the three-stage GSLV-D5 using an indigenous cryogenic engine as the third upper stage. This is the second time that a GSLV is using an indigenous cryogenic engine developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) situated at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. The first flight to use an India-made cryogenic stage failed in April 2010. This is the eighth GSLV flight. Of the earlier seven GSLV missions, six used cryogenic engines from Russia.
ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told The Hindu on Saturday that the Mission Readiness Review (MRR) team and the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) met on Friday and cleared the vehicle for the launch. “Soon, we will be filling the liquid propellants and the oxidiser for the second liquid stage and the four strap-on liquid motors,” he said.
‘Our confidence-level is good’
Asked about the confidence level among the ISRO rocket engineers, Dr. Radhakrishnan replied, “We have done our best.”
S. Ramakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, declared, “We are ready. We will be starting the countdown at T minus 29 hours.” The pumping of liquid propellants into the second stage and for the four strap-on booster engines would begin at the start of the countdown. The cryogenic propellants, that is, liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, would start flowing into the cryogenic stage eight hours before the lift-off, he said. “Our confidence-level is good,” added Mr. Ramakrishnan.
For this mission, ISRO has re-designed the cryogenic engine’s Fuel Booster Turbo-Pump; subjected the engine to a high altitude test, simulating the vacuum there; re-designed the way the connectors are mounted in the cryogenic stage; and done wind-tunnel tests on the GSLV model.
The GSAT-14 will be used for telecasting and telecommunication purposes. Its mission life is 12 years.