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GSLV-D2 blasts off into space
May 08, 2003 17:16 IST
GSLV-D2 on Thursday blasted off from the Satish Dhawan spaceport in Sriharikota at 1658 IST.
Carrying an 1800-kg experimental communication satellite GSAT-2, the second developmental flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D2) majestically soared into the azure sky from the spindle-shaped island in the Bay of Bengal.
The satellite is to be injected into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) about 17 minutes after the lift-off.
A battery of scientists, engineers and technicians, who toiled hard for the most technologically challenging project undertaken so far under the Indian Space Programme, were overwhelmed with excitement and joy when the 49-metre high, three-stage vehicle, weighing 414 tonne, majestically soared into the sky, leaving behind columns of fire and fumes.
Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman Dr K Kasturirangan, congratulated and hugged his colleagues as the vehicle rose skyward with clock-like precision.
The GSLV project's aim is to acquire the capability to place satellites in a geo-synchronous orbit.
The first developmental flight (GSLV-D1) was successfully conducted on April 18, 2001 when an experimental satellite, GSAT-1, was placed in a GTO.
The GSLV-D2 is carrying a heavier satellite, which would be placed in a GTO of 180km perigee (nearest point to earth) and 36,000 km apogee (farthest point to earth).
The higher payload has been achieved by incorporating enhanced propellant loading in the core solid motor, a high pressure engine on the liquid propellant strap-on motors used in the second stage of the vehicle and optimisation of structural elements.
The GSLV consists of hundreds of sub-systems, which are designed, built, tested and qualified before their integration for launch.
Most of the vehicle's hardware-like motor cases, intermediate-stages, engine components and electronic modules are built by 150 Indian industries, both from the public and private sectors.
The satellite carries four C-band transponders, two Ku-band transponders and a Mobile Satellite Service payload.
Besides the communication payloads, the GSAT-2 also carries four piggyback experimental payloads like Total Radiation Dose Monitor, Surface Charge Monitor, Solar X-ray spectrometer and Coherent Radio Beacon Experiment.
After going into the GTO, the GSAT-2 will be taken to its final geo-stationary orbit by firing the liquid apogee motor in phases.
After reaching the geo-stationary orbit, its antenna and solar panels would be deployed and the satellite would be finally placed in its allocated slot of 48-degree east longitude.