State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and aerospace arm of Indian multinational Godrej and Boyce played a key role in building the country's heaviest rocket and satellite launched on Monday by the Indian space agency. "The structural assemblies and fuel tanks of the 640-tonne rocket were produced at our aerospace division in the city," HAL said in a statement here. Mumbai-based Godrej Aerospace unit made components and equipment for both the rocket and the Geosynchronous Satellite (GSAT-19).
"For the rocket, we made the first-stage Vikas engine and the indigenously developed third-stage cryogenic engine thrust chamber. For the satellite, the LAM (Liquid Apogee Motor) engine injectors and thrusters were manufactured at our aerospace unit," Godrej firm said in a separate statement. State-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the heaviest (3.4 tonne) communication satellite on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark-III) from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km from northeast Chennai.
"Our aerospace division is the only facility in the country to manufacture such huge space worthy complex structures. We commend the space voyagers of India -- ISRO -- for the successful launch in its maiden attempt," said HAL Chairman T.V. Suvarna Raju. The defence behemoth (HAL) made 20 types of riveted structure, six types of welded structure and the satellite's bus structure and delivered in time for the historic space application mission. "The fabrication of the composite OPLF (Ogive Payload Load Fairing) heat shield of five metres diameter and 11 metres height is a major achievement for us," asserted Raju.
On ISRO's unique feat, Godrej Chairman Jamshyd Godrej said India was progressing towards self-reliance in space technology, with 100 per cent propulsion systems, designed and developed indigenously by the state-run and private enterprises. "We are honoured to partner with ISRO in the development and manufacture of critical equipment and contributing to the country's space programme," he said in the statement.
HAL acquired additional capabilities and modernised its facilities to develop the next generation hardware for future space missions. "We also integrated the booster rockets of the launch vehicle's Mark-II version for direct use on the launch pad," added Raju. Over the last five decades, HAL supplied alloy structures, tanks, and satellite bus bars for ISRO's polar and geo-stationary launch vehicles. "We also suppled 18 aero structures and fuel tanks for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission, launched on November 5, 2013, from the spaceport, the statement added.
Godrej has been working with ISRO since 1985 on complex systems such as liquid propulsion engines for light, medium and heavy rockets, thrusters for satellites and antenna systems. "We were also in integral part of ISRO's Chandrayaan-1 moon mission in 2008-09 and Mars mission in 2013-14," added Godrej.