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More GSLV launch vehicles in the offing

The GSAT-7A being launched on ISRO’s GSLV in Sriharikota in December 2018.AFPARUN SANKAR

The GSAT-7A being launched on ISRO’s GSLV in Sriharikota in December 2018.AFPARUN SANKAR  

The Union Cabinet on Monday approved five more GSLV satellite launch vehicles for the period 2021-24 under the next phase 4 of the ongoing GSLV continuation programme.

One of them could be used for the second Mars mission which is being considered.

Third phase

Sanctioned in 2003, the programme is currently in its third phase. The allocation of Rs. 2729.13 crore includes the cost of the launchers, augmentation of the facilities, programme management, and launch campaign, a statement said.

The Indian Space Research Organisation uses the GSLV, the second of its three launchers, to put 2,000-kg class of communication and other satellites to a GEO (or geosynchronous) orbit about 36,000 km away.

“The GSLV Continuation Programme - Phase 4 will meet the launch requirement of satellites for providing critical satellite navigation services, data relay communication for supporting the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme and the next interplanetary mission to Mars. This will also ensure the continuity of production in Indian industry,” the statement said.

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