ISRO launches GSLV-D5 successfully
The three-stage GSLV-D5 is carrying 1, 982-kg communication satellite called GSAT-14. Precisely at 4.18 pm, the GSLV- D5 with a deep roar rose into sky with a thick orange flame at its tail, breaking away from the second launch pad here at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
ISRO scientists at the mission control centre here watched their monitors intently to see the rocket's progress.
ISRO's next GSLV flight, with an indigenous cryogenic engine, on August 19, 2013, was called off 75 minutes before lift-off: the liquid fuel from the rocket's second stage had leaked, wetting the first stage and the four strap-on boosters around it.
So ISRO dismantled the 49-metre tall vehicle, weighing 415 tonnes and built a refurbished GSLV-D5, with new first and second stages and four new strap-on booster motors.
This was the first mission of GSLV during the last four years after two such rockets failed in 2010.
For the country, ISRO perfecting the cryogenic engine technology is crucial as by launching communication satellites by itself it can help save precious foreign exchange.
Currently, ISRO puts its heavy communication satellites into space by hiring services of European space agency Ariane.
ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan has said that the country pays around $85-90 million or around Rs.500 crore as launch fee for sending up a 3.5-tonne communication satellite. The cost of satellite is separate.
He said the cost of GSLV is Rs.220 crore.
The ISRO can send smaller communication satellites - weighing around two tonnes - till such time it gets ready an advanced GSLV variant - GSLV-Mark III - that can lug satellites weighing around four tonnes.
(With agency inputs)