India's ambition to grab a slice of the billion-dollar global satellite launch market will get a major boost when the Indian Space Research Organisation makes the maiden launch of its new Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III in 2009.
"The development of GSLV Mark-III is progressing well and we hope to have its maiden launch in 2009," ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair said on Thursday.
The GSLV Mark-III is an entirely new three-stage launch vehicle and is not derived from PSLV or GSLV Mark-I or II series.
With the development of GSLV Mark-III, India will be able to launch heavy satellites into the geosynchronous transfer orbit. This vehicle is billed as the technological successor to GSLV Mark-II.
Nair, who was at Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad to attend a 'National Telemedicine Users' Meet,' told media persons that ISRO had identified the problems that had caused the failure of GSLV Mark-II launch last year.
"Last year, we had a failure. But we have identified the reasons for it," he said.
"There is nothing wrong with the design or any of the other sub-systems. It was only a fabrication error, which caused the failure," he said about the three-stage 414 tonne launch vehicle, which had lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in July 2006 only to plunge into the Bay of Bengal with a 2,168-kg INSAT-4C satellite.
Nair said ISRO had rectified the snag and the space agency will be re-launching the GSLV Mark-II by October this year.