Discuss the significance of GSLV in space research.
On April 18, 2001, ISRO launched the GSLV, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. This GSLV carried the GSAT – Geosynchronous Satellite of 1540 kg of weight and put it in Geo Stationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The first development flight, GSLV-D1 carried experimental communication satellite, GSAT-1.
This GSLV is based on the earlier PSLV—Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle technique of India. It uses a cryogenic engine which is made by Russia.
GSLV is a three stage vehicle. The first stage, GS1, comprises a solid propellant motor and four liquid propellant strap-on stages. Its first stage is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. The second stage (GS2) is powered by a single liquid propellant engine. The third stage (GS3) is a cryogenic stage with re-startable engines. With 49 metre height, it weights 400 tonnes.
This launch of GSLV has proved India’s capacity to launch satellites of more than 1500 kg weight. It puts India into the club of selected countries with such technology. However, some developed nations have much higher capacity.
Before the development of GSLV, India had to use the foreign Satellite Launch Vehicles from French Guyana and had to pay huge amounts, apart from being dependent upon them. Now, as the great importance, India has achieved self-reliant technology in this direction. India can now commercially, launch satellites of other countries also.
The GSLV programme of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has proved capability of Indian Scientists in the space and satellite technology.