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GSLV Mk-III to launch ‘36 One Web’ satellites by October 23

  • Published
    15th Oct, 2022

Indian Space Research Organisation’s heaviest rocket, GSLV Mk-III, is set to launch 36 satellites of the ‘OneWeb communication’ constellation, on October 23, 2022. With this, the GSLV Mk-III will enter the global commercial launch service market.

Facts: India currently has three operational launch vehicles – the PSLV, GSLV, and GSLV Mk III. The space agency has also developed a small satellite launch vehicle, whose first development flight was partially successful.

  • commercial launch. Also, this will be the first time a rocket other than India’s workhorse – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) – is being used to carry out a commercial launch.
  • Till now, the PSLV has conducted at least eight commercial-only launches.
  • The PSLV has established itself in the global market, having launched at least 345 foreign satellites from 36 countries, with its most notable flight being the 2017 PSLV-C37 mission, which put 104 satellites in orbit (of which 101 were foreign commercial satellites).
  • This will be the second flight of the GSLV Mk III since it carried India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2.

Geostationary Orbit of the earth: (Orbit of Communication Satellites)

  • geostationary orbit also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit(GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 km (22,236 mi) in altitude above Earth's equator (42,164 km (26,199 mi) in radius from Earth's center) and following the direction of Earth's rotation.
  • The concept of a geostationary orbit was popularised by the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in the 1940s as a way to revolutionize telecommunications, and the first satellite to be placed in this kind of orbit was launched in

    The GSLV Mk-III rocket:

    • The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), also referred to as the Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3), is a three-stage, medium-lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO.
    • The three stages of the LMV3:
      • two solid strap-on motors (S200)
      • one liquid core stage
      • A high-thrust cryogenic upper stage makes up the LMV3
    • The first successful experimental flight of LVM3 was made in December 2014.
    • Primarily designed to launch communication satellites into geostationary orbit. It is also identified as the launch vehicle for crewed missions under the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
    • It was used in dedicated science missions like Chandrayaan-2.
    • The GSLV Mk III has a higher payload capacity than the similarly named GSLV Mk II.
    • The GSLV Mk-III will have improvements to increase reliability and safety to meet the requirements of 'human ratings’.

    Government Initiatives for Space Technologies:

    • Privatization of the Space sector: The government opened up the space sector for private players in 2020. Promoting new activities by existing ISRO collaborators and also encouraging start-ups that offer the full gamut of activities from launch services, and satellite development, to downstream applications.
    • There are over 100 start-ups in the country now. The aim of opening up the sector was to allow private players to offer routine space services. While ISRO focuses on scientific missions.

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