Undeterred by the cyclone threat ISRO readies for GSLV MkIII-GSAT-29 mission

New Delhi, Nov 14: The countdown is winding down for the lift off of India’s heaviest rocket, referred to as Baahubali, has begun at Sriharikota, in Andhra Pradesh on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.And if cyclone Gaja does not play spoilsport, Indian space agency Indian Space Research Organisation’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) -- on its second developmental flight -- will haul the sophisticated communications satellite GSAT-29 into space on Wednesday evening.GSAT-29 carries Ka and Ku band high throughput transponders intended to meet the communication requirements of users, including in the North East and in Jammu andKashmir.The ISRO chief said the Wednesday launch was one of the “very important missions and a milestone” for India’s space programme.“This is GSLV-MkIII-D2 second developmental flight. It is going to launch very important and high throughput satellite GSAT-29. The satellite will be useful in Jammu and Kashmir and north east region for providing connectivity under the Centre’s Digital India programme”, he said.A successful launch would pave the way for producing very advanced satellite in future for ISRO, he said.“(It is) this vehicle (GSLV-MkIII) is going to launch the Chandrayaan-II and also the manned mission. We are getting prepared for that. If everything goes normal, lift off will happen at around 5 pm and 8 minutes (tomorrow)”, K Sivan said.Following the lift off, the rocket would inject the satellite into the Geostationary Transfer Orbit with required inclination to the equator.The satellite would be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the on-board propulsion system and it may take a few days after separation from launcher to reach the orbital slot, ISRO said.GSLV-MkIII is the fifth generation launch vehicle developed by ISRO and is designed to place satellites of upto 4,000 kg in GTO.The launch vehicle is the 67th launch mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota and the 33 communication satellite built by ISRO for which this will bebe the fifth launch this year.The GSLV-MkIII-D2 is a three stage launch vehicle with two solid strap-ons, a liquid core stage and a cryogenic upper stage. Compared to solid and liquid stages, the C25 cryogenic stage is more efficient as well as complex.According to the ISRO, the GSAT-29 satellite is intended to serve as a test bed for several new technologies. It is specifically designed to cater to communication requirements of users from remote areas of the country.Around 16 min 43 seconds the GSAT-29 separation is expected to take place after the launch. The mission life is about 10 years.