India is all set to witness its first manned mission as ISRO is preparing to launch indigenous rocket GSLV Mk III on June 5. This heavy vehicle is said to be as heavy as 200 adult elephants and would be able to send humans into space, if everything goes well. As of now only US, China and Russia have the capability of launching manned missions.
Touted to be ISRO’s “fat boy”, GSLV Mk III is evidently one of the heaviest vehicles with a weight of 640 tonnes and height of 43 metre, also making it the smallest rocket. Reportedly, more than 200 tests have been done on different components of the heavy lift rocket, which is set to be launched next week. This vehicle would also have a new and advanced indigenous cryogenic engine to lift it off to the geostationary orbit.
Though the huge vehicle has the capability of launching manned mission, ISRO is clear on its thoughts of holding onto working any further on manned mission, till they get final approval from the government. They are currently focused on providing more number of cost-effective satellites launch into the orbit in the area of communication, remote sensing and navigation.
Facts about ISRO’s “fat boy”:
- It is the first time ever that a new cryogenic engine, which uses liquid oxygen and hydrogen as propellants has been tested on a fully functional rocket.
- It has taken ISRO scientists more than 15 years to master the technology of this engine.
- Launch of Gsat-19 satellite through GSLV Mk III, would help India in fulfilling its objective of increasing internet speed in the country. Gsat-19 satellite is a high throughput communication satellite.
- It’s highly manoeuvrable nature would allow changing its position in the space.
- This self-reliant vehicle could launch up to 4 tonne class Geosynchronous satellites into orbit, which is double than GSLV Mk II’s ability to put 2.2-tonne satellite into the geostationary orbit.
- It is the heaviest and the smallest rockets by ISRO weighing 640 tonnes and 43 m in height