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

Published: 21st Oct, 2022

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

Context

: Indian Space Research Organisation’s heaviest rocket, GSLV Mk-III, is set to launch 36 satellites of the ‘OneWeb communication’ constellation. 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.

About

  • This is the first time that India’s heaviest rocket is being used for a commercial launch.
  • Also, this will the first time a rocket other than India’s workhorse – Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) – is being used to carry out commercial launch.
  • Till now, the PSLV has conducted at least eight commercial-only launches.

Geostationary Orbit of earth: (Orbit of Communication Satellites)

  • geostationary orbit is also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit(GEO).
  • It 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 centre) and following the direction of Earth's rotation.

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 make 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’.

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