The launch of the rocket GSLV-Mk IIID is instrumental for ISRO as it will be used for the ambitious Gaganyaan

The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) on Wednesday put into orbit India’s latest communication satellite amid concerns over Cyclone Gaja spoiling the launch. GSAT-29, a 3,423 kg advanced communications satellite, is also the heaviest ISRO has put into orbit. The launch of the rocket GSLV-MK-III-D2 is instrumental for ISRO as it will be used for the ambitious Chandrayaan II and the manned space mission Gaganyaan. GSLV-Mk III is capable of launching 4-ton satellites, pushing India into the big boys’ space club.

Here’s what makes GSLV-Mk III the ‘Bahubali’ of Indian rockets:

First Orbital Test Launch

ISRO successfully conducted the orbital test launch of GSLV-MK-III-D2 by placing the GSAT-19 satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit on 5 June 2017. The first operational mission of this vehicle is going to be the January 2019 Chandrayaan II mission. The rocket took 15 years to make.

Payload

GSLV-Mk III is designed to carry 4-ton satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit or 10-ton satellites into low earth orbit. This is about twice the capability of GSLV-MK-II.

Three-Stage Launch Vehicle

It is a three-stage launch vehicle with two solid strapons, a liquid core stage and a cryogenic upper stage. Compared to the solid and liquid stages, the C25 cryogenic stage is more efficient as well as complex.

Power

GSLV-MK III is 43 meters tall and even though it is the heaviest among India’s operational launch vehicles, it is also the shortest. GSLV-Mk III weighs 641 tons, which is equal to the weight of five fully loaded passenger planes.

Cost Per Launch

Each launch of GSLV-Mk III costs upwards of Rs 300 crores to the space organisation.