Indian Space and Research Organization has scripted history through the launch of GSLV MK-III nicknamed ‘The Fat Boy’. On board which was the GSAT-19 communication satellite, which ISRO claims will bolster the communication and internet services in India. ‘The Fat Boy’ is a new chapter in ISRO’s odyssey to become self-reliant in space programs. GSLV took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on 5 June, 2017.
Ind vs Pak has always been a hot topic, trending in India which usually minifies any other event and ‘The Fat Boy’ too was a victim of it. Hence, very few people know about this major development. GSLV MK-III is a heavy-lift rocket specifically designed to lift heavy payloads into the geostationary orbits.
Source of Information & Image Courtesy – www.isro.gov.in
The anatomy of ‘The Fat Boy’ GSLV MK-III
GSLV rocket is made up of broadly 4 components. Each has been elaborated in the following lines.
GSLV Mk III uses two S200 solid rocket boosters to provide the huge amount of thrust required for lift off. The S200 was developed at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. It carried 205 tonnes of HTPB as fuel. S200s function for 128 seconds.
The L110 liquid stage is powered by two Vikas engines designed and developed at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. It carried 110 tonnes of UDMH + N2O4. These liquid engines were used to further augment the thrust of the vehicle and continued to function after the separation of the strap boosters (S200).
Cryogenic Upper Stage : C-25
The C25 is powered by CE-20, India’s largest cryogenic engine, designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. It carried 28 tonnes of LOX + LH2. The functioning duration of C25 was 643 seconds and it facilitated the GSAT-19 carried on board to reach the intended orbit.
GSAT-19 is a communication satellite with a lift-off mass of 3136 kg. It carries Ka/Ku – band high throughout communication transponders. Besides, it carries a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of charges particles and the influence of space radiations on satellites. Mission life of GSAT-19 is 10 years. The satellite will revolutionize the communication and internet services as claimed by ISRO.
‘The Fat Boy’ opens up doors to new possibilities.
GSLV MK-III is envisioned to undertake a manned mission into space in future. It had earlier displayed its capabilities when it took off with an unmanned crew capsule in 2014. But ISRO said it would take atleast 7 years to successfully launch a manned crew capsule into the space. Till date only USA, Russia and China have been able to achieve this feat.
Commercial Satellite Market
The ever-expanding commercial satellite market needs a launch vehicle which can put the payload sagely into the intended orbit at low costs. And India through ‘MOM’ had already displayed its proficiency in low-cost launches. ‘The Fat Boy’ under the guidance and expertise of ISRO can tap this market and make huge profits.
Self-reliance in communication of satellite launches is yet another major achievement. ‘The Fat Boy’ can put 4000 kg payload in an orbit 36,000 km away from the surface of Earth. Earlier we had to give money to the European launchers to put Indian satellites into Geostationary orbits, but the ‘Fat Boy’ would now take the responsibility on its shoulders saving at least 25% of money which was earlier spent on launches from foreign lands.
Competitors of GSLV MK-III
- Falcon 9 – SpaceX
- Ariane 5