Tag Archives: GSLV

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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India preparing rover for 2018 Moon landing

The competition heats up: India preparing rover for 2018 Moon landing.

Isro’s Satellite Applications Centre Director, M. Annadurai, revealed the tentative launch schedule while speaking to the press at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Shar, Sriharikota on Wednesday. He said a Lander and a six-wheeled Rover were being prepped to go with the Chandrayaan-II mission. The chief scientist added that a launch is likely to take place in the first quarter of 2018. According to Dr P.V. Venkita Krishnan, the director of the Isro Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri, engineers were currently testing soft-landing engines.

India’s launch of a record 104 satellites on a single rocket has pumped up the Indian press, as there were almost 20 stories on space and that launch in their press today, almost all favorable.

This article however is from the U.S., and takes a look at the ineffective American space policy that supposedly forbids American companies from launching on Indian rockets.

The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Agreement of 2005 prohibits the launch of commercial satellites on the Indian vehicle. The reasoning is that struggling U.S. commercial launch providers needed time to establish themselves in the market and would be wiped out by India’s PSLV, which is developed by the Indian Space Organization.

Since 2015, commercial satellite owners have successfully obtained waivers to the policy.

The article notes India’s competitive prices, as well as the overall state of the smallsat industry and its dependence on bigger rockets as secondary payloads to get into space. India’s rockets, funded and subsidized by the government but also built to be inexpensive so as to attract customers, is clearly positioned to effectively compete with SpaceX, who until now charged the least.

What will our Congress do? My preference would be for them to repeal this part of the 2005 law so that American satellite companies can fly on whoever they wish. That would increase competition but it would also likely invigorate the overall launch industry because it would increase the satellite customer base for those rockets and thus create more business for everyone.

Sadly, I suspect that Congress will instead demand that the waivers to the law cease, and will thus block the use if Indian satellites by American companies. The short-sightedness of our politicians never ceases to surprise me.

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India delays next launch of its largest rocket

India has delayed the next launch of its GSLV rocket from January to no earlier than March in order to conduct tests on the rocket.

This does not change the schedule for the next launch of their smaller PSLV rocket, which is still set for February and will launch a record of over a hundred satellites, most of which are smallsats.

Posted from Tucson Internationa Airport. I am heading to St. Louis today to give a lecture to the local chapter there of the AIAA.

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India’s GSLV rocket successfully launches again

The competition heats up: India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) successfully placed a commercial communications satellite in orbit today.

This is the third successful GSLV launch in a row, indicating that India’s space agency ISRO has finally worked out the kinks of their home-built upper stage and are ready to begin regular and more frequent commercial launches, in direct competition with the world’s big players in the launch industry.

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Successful test of India’s GSLV rocket engine

The competition heats up: India has successfully completed a full duration static hot fire test of the cryogenic engine it is developing for its more powerful GSLV rocket.

The press release is very short and lacking in many details, including any detailed information about the engine being tested. However, this success bodes well for India’s plans to launch a new upgraded GSLV before the end of the year.

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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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India starts countdown for the launch of its big rocket

The competition heats up: India has begun the countdown for the third launch of its entirely homebuilt Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket.

The launch is set for Thursday, and is attempting for the first time to place an actual payload into orbit, an Indian military communications satellite. Previous launches either failed with earlier versions of the rocket, or were carrying dummy payloads.

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India engine test a success

The competition heats up: India has successfully completed a full duration engine test of its most powerful home-built rocket engine.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted the much-awaited ‘full endurance test’ of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III’s indigenous cryogenic CE-20 engine at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri in the district on Thursday. The CE-20 was ignited and tested for 800 seconds from 5 p.m. to study the performance of the engine though the actual required duration was only 635 seconds.

This success puts them ever closer to creating their own rocket comparable to the Falcon 9 and capable of competing for commercial business in the international launch market.

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India has successful rocket engine test

The competition heats up: India has successfully completed a full duration test of its upgraded cryogenic rocket engine.

This gets them much closer to not only having the ability to launch all of their own geosynchronous satellites, it gets them closer to building a rocket capable of putting human capsules into orbit.

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India’s rocket and manned capsule test flight a success

The competition heats up: India has successfully completed both a test launch of the first stage of its upgraded GSLV rocket as well as the suborbital deployment and splashdown of a test manned capsule.

More details are sure to follow, but at the moment it appears that everything went exactly as planned.

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Countdown begins for the suborbital test flight of India’s new rocket

Link here. The launch is scheduled for 11 pm Eastern tonight.

Thursday’s test launch will check the performance of the GSLV Mk. 3’s first stage and strap-on boosters, which will carry the rocket out of the atmosphere beyond the boundary of space. The launcher’s cryogenic upper stage, which will be active and fueled by liquid hydrogen on future missions, will be dormant on Thursday’s flight.

…After the rocket’s propulsion shuts down, a gumdrop-shaped capsule will separate from the GSLV Mk. 3’s dummy upper segment about five-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, according to the Times of India, another English-language paper in India. The capsule weighs about 8,000 pounds — about 3.6 metric tons. Indian engineers from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. fabricated the car-sized module, and ISRO added sensors, strain gauges, a guidance and control system and a heat shield for the suborbital flight, which is called the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment, or CARE.

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India’s manned space program

This short article gives us a short but detailed look at India’s plans for manned space, describing both the first test flight of a engineering version of their manned capsule in a little more than a month and the program’s overall goals.

The test flight:

“The first test trial, that of the crew module, will be undertaken in November last week or December first week on the GSLV MK-III,” [Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan told Deccan Herald.] The crew module will be injected into orbit by the GSLV at a height of 110-120 km in space from where it will fall towards the earth and be recovered from sea. Isro will examine how the crew module and thermal shield around it handle the heat and temperatures during re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

Their eventual goal is to put two astronauts in orbit for seven days. To do that they will first have to complete at least four to six test launches of their new GSLV MK-III rocket, which has only completed one successful launch after literally two decades of failures. If successful, the test flight described above will be GSLV’s second successful launch.

Note that because of poor writing the article gives the improper impression that the test flight will be manned. It will not. Also, the article states incorrectly that the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry because “the thermal heat shields could not withstand the heat.” This is false. The heat shield would have worked fine, as it had done on numerous previous launches, except that there were gaping holes in it that were put there by pieces of foam during launch.

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India begins tests of larger rocket engine

The competition heats up: Indian engineers have successfully completed their first tests of a new more powerful upper stage engine for their biggest launch rocket.

Taking a big step forward in the development of bigger and more powerful locally-built rocket engines, the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) on Monday successfully conducted the first ‘cold flow test’ on the CE-20 cryogenic engine, which will power the upper stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV-Mk III). “It’s a milestone,” LPSC director Dr K Sivan told ‘Express’ here on Tuesday, confirming that the test had gone as planned at the LPSC facility in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The first ‘hot test’ – where the engine will be fired for a few seconds- will be performed in three weeks’ time, Sivan said.

In a cold test, the propellants are not ignited. On Monday, the fuel, Liquid Hydrogen (LH2), and the oxidiser, Liquid Oxygen (LOX), were injected into the chambers for the checking of various parameters.

In related news, Mangalyaan has taken another global view of Mars.

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Another succesful rocket launch for India

The competition heats up: India today successfully launched the third of seven home-built GPS satellites.

The head of ISRO, India’s NASA, also noted after the launch that the next test flight of their much larger GSLV rocket should occur within the next six weeks. If things go as expected, that flight will also include a test flight of an engineering prototype of an India-built manned capsule.

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Even as India successfully launched its second homemade GPS satellite today, its space agency ISRO announced that it will launch a test flight of a manned capsule in June using that country’s powerful GSLV rocket.

The competition heats up: Even as India successfully launched its second homemade GPS satellite today, the head of of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in India announced that it will launch a test flight of a manned capsule in June using that country’s powerful GSLV rocket.

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The structural assembly of India’s manned crew module was delivered to its space agency this week.

The competition heats up: The structural assembly of India’s manned crew module was delivered to its space agency this week.

The article is not very informative, but it appears that this is the basic hull and structure of a manned test module that will be outfitted and then flown on a test flight of India’s GSLV rocket.

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After more than a decade of failed attempts, India has finally successfully launched its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The competition heats up: After more than a decade of failed attempts, India has finally successfully launched its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Moreover, this rocket was entirely built in India. It now gives that country a rocket competitive in the international communications satellite launch market.

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India has now scheduled January 5 as the date for the test launch of its homebuilt powerful GSLV rocket.

The competition heats up: India has now set January 5 as the date for the test launch of its homebuilt powerful GSLV rocket.

India’s needs this more powerful rocket if they are going to be a serious player in the new colonial movement in space. They have had many problems over the past decade trying to get it operational. Maybe now they will finally succeed.

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India has delayed the first test launch of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from mid-December until the first week in 2014.

India has delayed the first test launch of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from mid-December until the first week in 2014.

This delay appears to be simple prudence. They have no specific deadline for launch, and by giving themselves a few extra weeks they can make sure they have things right. I also have two additional comments.

First, I wish they would give this rocket a decent name. GSLV is not only hard to remember, it is ugly. A better name would help their marketing enormously.

Second, read the comments at the link. They are all from Indians, and the majority of them are very enthused. It will give you a sense of that country’s passion for technology and science.

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A fundamental design failure appears to be the cause of the fuel leak that caused the launch postponement of India’s first home-made geosynchronous powered rocket in August.

The complete failure of the fuel tank appears to be the cause of the massive leak that caused the launch postponement of India’s first home-made geosynchronous powered rocket in August.

Mr. Radhakrishnan [head of India’s space agency] said while the expert committee had attributed the fuel leak to stress corrosion cracking of the tank filled with propellants, exactly why this happened was “a research problem” that remains to be investigated. The next GSLV mission will switch to a better aluminium alloy material for its propellant tanks.

Up to now the reports have been somewhat vague about the cause of what was clearly an extensive leak. This story tells us that the tank essentially failed. As they filled it with propellants, cracks apparently showed up everywhere, with fuel spewing out in all directions. As far as I can remember, I don’t think there has ever been a rocket tank failure quite this spectacular.

This suggests there were fundamental design flaws in the tank or very serious quality control problems in its manufacture. With the next launch attempt scheduled for December 15, I hope India has identified the source of this incredibly basic problem and taken action to prevent it from happening again.

Update: Reader Patrick Ritchie found this older article which suggests the failed tank was an old tank of a design that was “prone for delayed cracks”. The error here then was in using this substandard old equipment rather than a newer tank.

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India has now rescheduled the launch of its home-built GSLV rocket for December 15.

India has now rescheduled the launch of its home-built GSLV rocket for December 15.

The launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which was deferred on August 19 following a flaw in the rocket, will take place on December 15, ISRO head said here today. “The launch of GSLV D5 satellite which was postponed on August 19 about two hours before liftoff after detection of a fuel leak in the rockets’ second stage will now be held on December 15,” ISRO chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan said at an interactive session with students and teachers here.

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India space officials have decided to completely replace the second stage of the GSLV rocket that leaked during the rocket’s scrubbed launch last month.

India’s space agency has decided to completely replace the second stage of the GSLV rocket that leaked during the rocket’s scrubbed launch last month.

“Although the exact reasons for the leakage in the second stage of the engine, which prevented the launch on August 19, are being probed by the team headed by K Narayanan, it has been decided that a new liquid second stage (GS-2) will be assembled to replace the leaked stage,” said the official. He added that the process of assembling has begun, and that besides the GS-2, all the four liquid strap-on stages are being replaced with new ones.

That leak must have been quite significant for them to make this decision.

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The launch date for India’s GSLV rocket has been pushed off until December in order to thoroughly investigate what caused the fuel leak during the scrubbed launch last week.

The launch date for India’s GSLV rocket has been pushed off until December in order to thoroughly investigate what caused the fuel leak during the scrubbed launch last week.

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Engineers in India have decided to completely replace the leaking second stage engine of the GSLV rocket whose launch was scrubbed last week.

Engineers in India have decided to completely replace the leaking second stage engine of the GSLV rocket whose launch was scrubbed last week.

The GSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle with four strap-on motors hugging the first stage. The first stage is powered by solid fuel while the four strap-on motors and the second stage are powered by liquid fuel. The third is the cryogenic engine powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

“At the rocket assembly building, the satellite, cryogenic engine and the second stage have been destacked. It has been decided to shift the second stage to Mahendragiri for detailed inspection and study,” the ISRO official told IANS. He said ISRO has also decided to start assembling another engine so that the GSLV could fly at the earliest. Queried about the time-frame for the GSLV’s flight, he said: “It is not possible to give a time-frame for the GSLV’s flight now.”

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The launch today of India’s homemade Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was scrubbed when a fuel leak was spotted at T-74 minutes.

The launch today of India’s homemade Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was scrubbed when a fuel leak was spotted at T-74 minutes.

India has had trouble getting this powerful rocket off the ground successfully, with four previous launch failures. If they succeed this time, however, they will then have the ability to build their own rocket, capable of putting commercial payloads into geosynchronous orbit.

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India has set August 19 as the launch date for its home-built Geosycnchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The competition heats up: India has set August 19 as the launch date for its home-built Geosycnchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Their last attempt to launch this rocket three years ago ended in spectacular failure. A success here would allow India to become a serious player in the launch market, thereby increasing the competition and thus helping to lower prices and encourage innovation.

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