GSLV MK3

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 22, 2022, 8:55

GSLV MK III, nicknamed Indian Baahubali, is a three-stage heavy-lift satellite launch vehicle. The GSLV MK III can launch satellites weighing 4,000 kg into GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit). Moreover, it can launch around 10,000 kgs into LEO (Low Earth Orbit), which is almost twice the potential of GSLV MK II.

Features of GSLV MK3

The GSLV MK III is a three-stage spacecraft. It has two solid strap-on motors (S200), a liquid core stage (L110), and a high-thrust cryogenic upper stage (C25).

The S200 solid motor is one of the largest solid boosters in the world, weighing 204,000 kg. The liquid L110 stage has 115,000 kg of liquid propellant and a dual liquid engine configuration. C25 Cryogenic upper stage has 28 kilograms of fuel and a wholly indigenous high thrust cryogenic engine (CE20).

The cost of a GSLV launch is around Rs. 400 crore ($62 million), making it one of the most affordable launch vehicles in the world. Minor design adjustments allow for future payload increases.

Gaganyaan missions of the Indian Space Programme will use GSLV MK III.

Specifications of GSLV MK III

  • The height of the launch vehicle is 43.43 meters
  • It has a vehicle diameter of 4 meters
  • It has a heat shield of 5 meters
  • GSLV MK III has three stages (solid, liquid, and cryogenic)
  • It has an initial mass or life-off mass of 640,000 kg
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Significance of GSLV MK3

GSLV MK III signifies a big step toward self-sufficiency in India's space program. It has tremendously improved India's soft power and space power. It is not a standalone launcher in itself. It can also be used for multiple projects, like Chandrayaan.

Recently, the Department of Space stated that India is planning to launch Chandrayaan III using GSLV MK III in August. The deployment of the GSLV Mark III will improve India's ability to compete in the multibillion-dollar commercial launch industry. It will make it easier to obtain significant sums of foreign currency.

For major satellite installations such as the INSAT series, India will no longer have to depend on foreign launch vehicles. The GSLV Mark III will also assist ISRO in orbiting larger INSAT-4 communication satellites. GSLV MK III would realize India's ambition of sending astronauts into space.

The Cabinet waved the green flag to a budget of Rs. 43.38 billion in June 2018 for manufacturing 10 GSLV MK III units.

GSLV MK III Launch

So far, GSLV MK III has completed four successful launches. They are:

  • Crew Module Atmospheric Re-Entry Experiment (CARE) on 18th December 2014
  • GSAT-19 on 5th June 2017
  • GSAT-29 on 14th November 2018
  • Chandrayaan-2 on 22nd July 2019

GSLV Mk3 is a dream come true, taking India one step closer to accomplishing its long-held aim of sending humans into space. It also aids in launching 4000 kg communication satellites, which were earlier launched by European Space Agency satellites. India's capacity and status in the international arena received a significant boost after GSLV MK III. Moreover, foreign satellite launches will bring in considerable foreign exchange, which will benefit the Indian economy.

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FAQs on GSLV MK3

Q.1. From where did ISRO launch different payloads with GSLV MK3?

ISRO made all four launches with GSLV MK III from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

Q.2. What are the planned GSLV MK III launches?

ISRO currently has eight future launch plans using GSLV MK III. It includes:

  • Chandrayaan-3
  • GSAT-20
  • G-1 (First orbital flight test of Gaganyaan)
  • G-2 (Second orbital flight test of Gaganyaan)
  • H-1 (First crewed flight of Gaganyaan)
  • Shukrayaan-1
  • Mangalyaan-2
  • GSAT-22

Q.3. Has India ever launched a third-party satellite using GSLV MK III?

No. India has never launched a third-party satellite using GSLV MK III. However, OneWeb, a global communication satellite operator based in the United Kingdom, partnered with ISRO to launch satellites atop India's heaviest launch vehicle, the GSLV MK 3, and its workhorse, PSLV.

Q.4. What is the Vikas engine of the GSLV MK3?

The Vikas engine types power the second stage of the PSLV, the boosters and second stage of the GSLV MK I and II, and the core stage of the GSLV MK III.