The heavy-lift GSLV Mark III rocket, slated to be launched by space agency ISRO on Monday, would open up opportunities for India to launch 4-ton class of satellites, according to a senior space scientist.
The launch of the first developmental flight of the rocket is a ‘great milestone’ as ISRO is almost doubling the capacity to launch from 2.2-2.3 tons to 3.5-4 tons, former ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.
Today if India has to launch communication satellites beyond 2.3 tons, we have to go abroad (to launch them). We (will) have self-reliance in launching communication satellites (once GSLV Mk III becomes operational), and also we will be able to attract foreign customers.
"It's rather a simpler vehicle, and a vehicle with better payload fraction. And it's going to be future workhorse vehicle (sic),” he said.
Radhakrishnan was closely associated with the GSLV Mk III programme, approved in 2000, as director of the VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) and then chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He is now an adviser to the organisation.
“We are getting into the next level of capacity. PSLV is a stable line at the moment. GSLV is better than that. Here we are getting into a vehicle which is going to be more cost-effective,” he told PTI in a telephonic interview.
“After a couple of developmental flights to establish, I am sure there will be opportunities for launching even foreign communication satellites,” Radhakrishnan said.
GSLV Mk III can launch normal communication satellites that are in the market.
(The story has been edited for length)
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