India has successfully launched its heaviest and next generation rocket, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mark III), carrying a crew module today from Sriharikota. With this, the aim of the the crew module to demonstrate its re-entry flight is achieved and India has now joined the 4 nations which have already achieved the re-entry capability.
The blast off of GSLV Mark III took place at 9.30am today. “First experimental flight of LVM3 with CARE module successful,” said ISRO. ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said, “GSLV Mark-III test flight mission successful. It is a significant day in India’s space history.”
After the launch, ISRO said that CARE module has separated and started its descent. “CARE module in its tense atmospheric re-entry. Main parachutes of the CARE module deployed successfully,” said ISRO.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all the ISRO scientists for the successful launch of GSLV Mark III. On his micro blogging site, Modi tweeted, “Successful launch of GSLV Mk-III is yet another triumph of brilliance & hardwork of our scientists. Congrats to them for the efforts.”
Though the rocket called as a crew module, it did not carry any living being and is being sent up only to test its re-entry characteristics. The 630 ton rocket is powered by liquid and solid fuel engines while the cryogenic stage or engine will be a passive one.
The main objective of the crew module was to demonstrate its re-entry flight and aero braking; end-to-end parachute system validation. The rocket is likely to go up to 126 km and then detach the crew capsule, which is expected to fall into the Bay of Bengal, 20 minutes after blast off.
The crew module, looking like a giant-size cup cake, black in colour on top and brown at the bottom, weighs around four tonnes. According to an ISRO official, it will be in the size of a small bedroom and can accommodate 2-3 people.
“The crew module after being recovered from the sea will first be taken to the Ennore Port (near here) and from there it will be brought to Sriharikota. From Sriharikota the module will be taken to VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre-Thiruvananthapuram),” said M. Y.S.Prasad, Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.