India Countdown for New GSLV Underway

The Sriharikota spaceport and rocket center in Sriharikota, India is set to launch an advanced communication satellite GSAT-5P with a the rocket geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) in the early morning hours of Saturday (4:04 PM in India) if the launch preperations continue as planned, according to The Hindu.

The GSLV rocket has three stages. The first stage is fired by solid fuel. The four strap on motors give additional thrust during the lift-off and the initial phase of the rocket’s flight. The second stage is fired by liquid fuel. The third stage, which is more complex than the others, involves the cryogenic engine powered by liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen as oxidiser built by Russians. The GSLV rocket is 51 metres tall, weighs 418 tonnes.

The GSLV rocket launch has been previously delayed by problems with the third-stage of the satellite booster. India continues to develop its own cryogenic engine third stage following a failure last year. India is expected to start human spaceflight in this decade.


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