- The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) heaviest rocket Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3 or GSLV Mark 3) successfully orbited 36 satellites of OneWeb, based in the United Kingdom.
- It was launched as part of the LVM3-M2 / OneWeb India-1 Mission.
- LVM3-M2 is New Space India Limited’s dedicated commercial satellite mission (NSIL).
- NSIL is a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Government of India’s Department of Space.
GS Paper 3: Achievements of Indians in science & technology
Despite having distinct foundational objectives in their respective fields, the ISRO proved to be more successful than the DRDO. Discuss. (150 words)
Rockets from India
- India currently operates three launch vehicles:
- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV; The PSLV has been the most widely used, with up to 53 successful missions since 1993.
- Only two PSLV flights have failed.
- Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-II; the GSLV Mk-II has been used in 14 missions, four of which have failed.
- Launch Vehicle Mark-3 or LVM3 The LVM3 has flown five times, including the Chandrayaan 2 mission, and has never let ISRO down (RLV). Unlike other rockets, the RLV would not be destroyed in space.
- It can be returned and refurbished for multiple uses.
About the GSLV MKIII (now known as the Launch Vehicle Mark 3):
- The GSLV MkIII is a three-stage vehicle with two solid strap-on motors, one liquid core stage, and a cryogenic upper stage with high thrust.
- GSLV MKIII Characteristics:
- GTO performance capability of 4.3 tonne
- Payload capability ranging from 10 tonne to LEO missions
- A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit that is relatively close to the Earth’s surface, with an altitude ranging from 160 to 2,000 kilometres.
- Greater dependability, operability, and redundancy management
- Future payload growth potential with minimal design changes
- Later, the GSLV MKIII’s payload capability will be increased to 6 tonnes for GTO.
- A satellite in the GTO orbits the Earth once per day (at an altitude of 37,000 km), keeping the satellite in roughly the same area over the ground.
- To support Indian Space Programme manned missions (such as the Gaganyaan mission).
- The Gaganyaan mission will be launched by a human-rated GSLV MkIII.
- The Gaganyaan programme aims to transport three crew members to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and safely return them to a predetermined location on Earth.
- LVM3, India’s heaviest rocket, placed 36 broadband satellites for a UK-based customer in precise orbits.
- Validated ISRO’s claim as a serious player in the heavy satellite launch market o The LVM3 rocket carried nearly 6 tonnes of payload into lower-Earth orbit during this launch.
- This was the heaviest payload ever delivered into space by an ISRO mission.
- Only a few countries are capable of launching satellites weighing more than 2 tonnes.
- Re-validated the viability of the LVM3 rocket o The flight’s success re-validated the LVM3 rocket’s viability for long-awaited missions such as Gaganyaan, Moon landings, and deep space explorations in the near future.
- Atmanirbharata in heavy satellite launch
- Until recently, ISRO relied on Ariane rockets from Europe to launch its heavy satellites.
- The LVM3 rocket, formerly known as the GSLV Mk-III, is intended to end that reliance.
- Entry into the commercial space market o This was the first foray into the commercial space market by any Indian launch vehicle other than ISRO’s workhorse PSLV.
Despite being one of the leading space-faring countries, India currently accounts for only 2% of the market. o With this, India is expected to increase its market share in this sector