Tag Archives: GSLV MK-II

India’s GSLV rocket successfully launches communications satellite

India’s successfully launched a communications satellite early today using its Mark II GSLV rocket.

Friday’s launch, designated GSLV F09, was the fifth flight of the Mark II GSLV which debuted in April 2010. This replaced the Mark I, which first flew in 2001 and made its final flight at the end of 2010, introducing an Indian-developed third stage engine instead of a Russian-built engine flown on the Mark I. With this new cryogenic propulsion system, the GSLV Mk.II is a fully indigenous vehicle.

The GSLV’s service has been marred by concerns over its reliability – to date only half of its flights have been successful – however last September’s launch of INSAT-3DR saw it achieve three consecutive successes for the first time.

This launch success significantly strengthens ISRO’s ability to sell its launch services worldwide. They now have three different rocket configurations, all entirely home built, and all with a string of launch successes.

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Launch of India’s big rocket a success

The competition heats up: India has successfully launched a military communications satellite using its home-built Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Because of India’s bad habit of not giving distinct names to its space vehicles or spacecraft, I have discovered a bit a confusion about the version of GSLV that just launched. This rocket was built entirely in India, but it is the Mark II, not the Mark III, which is a significant upgrade and has so far only had one test flight.

Nonetheless, today’s Mark II launch is the second success in a row for the India-built version. Considering the number of failures of this version in the past, this success is a significant milestone for India’s space effort.

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