The flush of the successful Indian Mars manoeuvre will take a while to wear off. Team ISRO has, meanwhile, got down to brass tacks and expects to get one of its biggest projects off the mark this calendar year — GSLV-Mark III.
Success of this heavy-lift, four-tonne satellite launcher is imperative to make India capable of launching its future communication satellites from its soil.
“We are preparing for the GSLV-MkIII experimental mission,” ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan recently told The Hindu .
The first flight of the new vehicle is being considered for October-end if good weather holds, he said. The stages of the vehicle are being put together at Sriharikota.
The date of its launch depends on an earlier flight of the PSLV-C26, which will put into orbit the third regional navigation spacecraft, the IRNSS-1C. If the PSLV is flown in the week starting October 9 as planned, GSLV-MkIII can follow on the second launch pad a fortnight after it, Dr. Radhakrishnan said. The C-26 vehicle is also getting assembled at Sriharikota.
MkIII will test the recovery of a dummy crew module from sea. The module is the core of a future Human Space Project, in which a couple of astronauts will fly close to Earth for a few days.