The Indian Space Research Organisation ended the year 2014 on a high note with the successful launch of the 630-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk III (GSLV Mk III). This will help the space organisation put heavier satellites and crew modules into orbit and help India become a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO scientists on the successful launch.

The main objective of the Rs 155-crore mission was to test the rocket’s atmospheric flight stability carrying around four tonnes of luggage.

GSLV Mk III was conceived and designed to make the research organisation self-reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of four-to-five tonnes of the INSAT-4 class.

The rocket had a three-stage engine with a lift-off weight of 630 tonnes. The first comprised two identical S-200 large solid boosters with 200-tonne solid propellant. This was strapped on to the second stage L110 re-startable liquid stage. The third stage was the cryogenic engine.

Soon after lift-off, ISRO will study the flight validation of the atmospheric flight regime of LVM 3 and also test the ability of the crew module to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere with thermal resistance, parachute deployment in cluster formation, aero-braking system and apex cover separation procedures.