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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, January 22, 2018

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India’s powerful new rocket extends the country’s ability to place larger payloads into orbit

Rocket pacing ahead in its space program

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BANGALORE, India - Extending the country’s ability to place larger payloads into the orbit, India launched a powerful new rocket pacing ahead in its space program. 
Launching a new rocket this week from the Satish Dhawan space centre on Sriharikota island, off India’s east coast, India’s 43m-tall Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk3) took to the skies.
The country said that GSLV Mk3 can place 8 tonnes into an orbit of 600km altitude, and 4 tonnes into the much higher geosynchronous orbit.
Further, it pointed out that the advanced satellite launch vehicle added to the country’s ability to place larger payloads into orbit.
It will free India from the need to buy launch slots from other countries in the future, as India has, for long depended on buying launch slots from other countries and organisations, using the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket.
Further, the launch places Indian on par with the simplest configuration of the U.S.’s workhorse Atlas 5 rocket, which has performed 71 launches since 2002, but still behind the Ariane 5, which can lift 10 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit.
Indian officials aid that the launch placed India’s latest communications satellite, GSAT 19, into the 36,000km-high geosynchronous orbit, where it can appear to “hover” over India. 
Following the launch, engineers at ISRO said their technology development programme will continue. They hope to now build a rocket capable of lifting 6 tonnes into geosynchronous orbit.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director Dr K Sivan has said, "With the success of the mammoth 640 ton GSLV-Mk III (D1), its second developmental flight of GSLV-Mark III -D2 is planned for January next year.”
He added, “Now, this launch has placed a powerful 3,136kg high throughput communication satellite GSAT-19 in geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) which has a mission life of 10 years. Instead of single transponders, it uses a satellite beam with multiple transponders which will facilitate significant leap in digital communication with its high-speed data.”
Adding that the satellite is designed to last for a decade and provide television, data and other communications services to the country - India said that it also carries a radiation spectrometer that will monitor the environment.
India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said it is currently upgrading the Satish Dhawan space centre’s facilities so that the GSLV Mk3 can enter full operation in a few years. 
It said that after the upgrade, the organisation will be able to sell launches on the vehicle to other countries and companies.

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