Double success, says PM Modi after launch of ‘Bahubali’ satellite
The successful launch of the ISRO’s communication satellite GSAT 29 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday marked the completion of the development stage of India’s heaviest launch vehicle, the GSLV Mark III, called ‘Bahubali’ because it has double the carrying capacity of GSLV Mark II.
It will now be part of ISRO’s fleet of operational vehicles, which includes the highly successful PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The organisation took to Twitter to confirm the successful launch of the communication satellite.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on the launch saying that the double success sets a new record of putting the heaviest satellite in orbit by an Indian launch vehicle.
“My heartiest congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of GSLV MK III-D2 carrying GSAT-29 satellite. The double success sets a new record of putting the heaviest satellite in orbit by an Indian launch vehicle. The satellite will provide communication and internet services to the remotest corners of our country,” he said.
This is the second development flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, which will be used for India’s human spaceflight programme scheduled for 2022 and Chandrayaan-2 in January 2019.
“Today, India has achieved a significant milestone. This is a very important mission regarding GSLV Mark III programme. The second successive successful mission of launcher clearly shows the launcher has completed the development flight and has entered majestically into the operational stage, along with the PSLV,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan.
GSLV Mark III’s first developmental flight in June 2017 carried GSAT 19 on board.
There was also an experimental flight of the GSLV Mark III in 2014, which tested the crew re-entry module essential for a human space programme.
Powered by two S200 solid motors, one L100 liquid core stage, and the third C25 liquid cryogenic stage, the GSLV Mark III has a carrying capacity of four tonnes into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, an elliptical orbit around the earth used to move a satellite between two circular orbits. The launch vehicle is also capable of carrying a 10 tonne payload to low-earth orbit.
The GSAT 29 was placed in the geosynchronous transfer orbit 16 minutes 28 seconds after the flight. Its orbit will be raised to the final circular Geostationary Orbit by firing liquid apogee motors in stages.The satellite was placed at a 190 km perigee (closest distance to Earth) and 35,975 km apogee (furthest distance from Earth).
The GSAT 29, weighing 3423 kgs, is a multi-band multi-beam communication satellite. It carries Ka and Ku band transponders that will meet communication needs of people from hilly and geographically inaccessible regions in Jammu and Kashmir and the North Eastern regions.
The ISRO chairman had earlier said that the launch could be postponed if the weather was not conducive in the wake of cyclone Gaja. The Indian Meteorological Department had previously said that the cyclone was likely to hit coastal Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, including Sriharikota from where the launch happened. Gaja, however, changed its course on Tuesday.