The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to launch the 640-tonne GSLV Mk-III, its heaviest rocket till date, in January 2017.
According to a report in ‘Deccan Chronicle’, ISRO had initially planned to launch it in December end.
However, the launch was postponed as the largest cryogenic engine CE-20 developed for this rocket is still undergoing tests at ISRO’s Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
The report adds that the engine is expected to be delivered sometime in December.
The first indigenous developmental vehicle is capable of placing the 4-tonne class GSAT satellites into the Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
The 43.43-metre tall vehicle has the liquid and cryogenic stage and two S200 solid rocket boosters.
“All the systems are now getting ready. The L110 and S200 stages are already delivered to Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The cryogenic engine CE-20 is still not delivered as the engine tests are going on,” K Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvanan thapuram told Deccan Chronicle.
“The exact date for the launch will be finalised only when we finish our tests. It’s not like PSLV or GSLV launches. It’s a new stage, new testing and some new observations will be there and we have to solve the teething issues. In all likelihood, the launch may go to January,” he added.
Sivan further said that GSLV-Mk-III rocket will launch the 3.2-tonne GSAT-19 satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
“GSLV-Mk-III will launch the satellite like our regular GSLV rocket,” he said.