ISRO's GSAT-29 successfully launched from Sriharikota; 'credit to entire team,' says agency chairman K Sivan

The GSLV-Mk III, at 43.4 metres tall and 640 tons is expected to blast off at 5.08 pm today.

India's heaviest rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-MkII) carrying communication satellite GSAT-29 successfully launched from the rocket port in Sriharikota.

 

All of the GSLV-Mk III's 640 tons in weight and 43.4 metres in height blasted off at 5.08 pm.

The rocket slighed the 3,423 kg-GSAT-29 satellite into Geo-Transfer Orbit (GTO) and raised to its final position in the Geo-Stationary orbit (GSO) — 36,000 kilometres from the Earth's surface just 16 minutes after launch.

The satellite, called GSAT-29, is a communications satellite with two separate payloads designed to improve telecommunication and internet services under the ‘Digital India’ program in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East.

The satellite, developed by ISRO, will be carried on the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-III) rocket to low-Earth orbit. Along for the ride are also a few additional payloads — an experimental Q and V band communication satellite, a device for optical communication and a high-resolution camera — part of a demonstration for use in future ISRO space missions.

There are two more launches planned before the year-end — the GSAT-7A satellite for use by the Indian Air Force later this month, and the GSAT-11, which was recalled from the launchpad in April year during pre-flight tests. The satellite will have another go at a launch from the European spaceport in French Guinea on 4 December, the ToI report said.

Liftoff!

And the GSLV rocket is off the ground! The next big step is the seperation of the booster rockets after it crosses the atmosphere at 5.16 pm 14 November 4.53 pm IST

Mission director approves rocket for launch 

The Mission Director and the Vehicle Director give their thumbs up for the GSLV-MkIII rocket's automatic launch sequence. 15 minutes to liftoff! 14 November 4.06 pm IST

A stunning glimpse of the GSLV at the launchpad

This image of the GSLV-MkIII against from last evening captured the mood of the twitter crowd today: proud, excited and restless. Just an hour and 2 minutes before liftoff!

14 November 2.31 pm IST ISRO to stream the launch live! Good news, space junkies! The launch will be streamed live on ISRO's website here, and telecast on DD National starting 4.45 pm IST.

14 November 2.10 pm IST Satellite turned on ISRO has turned on its GSAT-29 satellite for final checks before launch and release into orbit. Just 3 hours to go now before blastoff! [Rumour has it that ISRO also plans to stream the launch live on its website!]

14 November 1.41 pm IST Rocket engine prepared for launch   The GSLV's cryogenic rocket engine is filled with liquid oxygen maintained at ultra-cool temperatures. This is the coolest of the rocket's three stages and will generate a whopping 2MW power of thrust, which is far greater than previous engines used for the Mark-series of rockets.

14 November 12.08 pm IST Avionics on GSLV-MkIII look healthy ISRO engineers test the myriad of communication, navigation, electronic systems, and hundreds others that are fitted into the launch vehicle for it to perform as expected. All systems the pings from the rocket's avionics look healthy, ISRO announced in a tweet. 5 hours to go until takeoff!

14 November 10.46 am IST GSLV-MkIII fuelled on the launchpad After seven months of disuse, the GSLV-MkIII-D2 rocket is fuelled with standard rocket fuel mixture (UH25) and a propellant oxidiser (N2O4) in the rocket's lower stage many hours ahead of its launch at 5.08 pm IST today.

13 November 4.01 pm IST Countdown to launch begins The countdown till GSLV-MkIII-D2 rocket's blastoff began at 2.50 pm IST today at the Sriharikota launchpad. The launch is scheduled for 5.08 pm on 14 November.

12 November | 5.23 pm IST Rocket and satellite moved to the launchpad The GSLV-MkIII-D2 rocket carrying its prime cargo, the communications satellite GSAT-29, was successfully moved to the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota a few days before launch day zero.

What makes the mission significant:

The GSAT-29 mission, satellite, and rocket are important to fulfilling different aspects of ISRO’s future plans.

Dusting off the MarkIII: The GSLV-MkIII is ISRO's heaviest rocket by far, and will be flown almost seven months after its last mission in April to put the IRNSS-1I satellite into low-Earth orbit.

Developmental flight for Gaganyaan: The GSAT-29 mission is especially important to ISRO's Gaganyaan mission. It is the second in a series of developmental trials of ISRO’s heavy-weight GSLV-MkIII rocket before it flies three Indian astronauts to low-Earth orbit in India's first manned mission to space (or more accurately, low-Earth orbit).

The next milestone: The agency's launch calendar is brimming with launches for the months leading up the next launch of global importance — the Chandrayaan-2 mission to send an orbiter, lander, and rover to the moon, scheduled for launch on 3 January 2019.

ISROs GSAT-29 successfully launched from Sriharikota; credit to entire team, says agency chairman K Sivan

The mighty GSLV-MkIII moments before lift-off. Image courtesy; ISRO

The Rocket Manifest:

The satellite, called GSAT-29, is a communications satellite with two separate payloads designed to improve telecommunication and internet services under the ‘Digital India’ program in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

“The high-speed bandwidth will bridge the digital divide in the hinterland,” Sivan told ToI.

Along for the ride are also a few additional payloads — an experimental Q and V band communication satellite, a device for optical communication and a high-resolution camera — part of a demonstration for use in future ISRO space missions.

This will help realising future advanced satellites, ISRO said.

Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.

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