Hello people!! Hope everyone wears mask and maintaining social distancing. We are nearing the end of this pandemic. Be positive. In this blog, we are going to continue our overlook on ISRO.
GSLV is basically like the updated version of the ASLV and has a payload capacity of 5000 kgs. The GSLV has far had 13 launches out of which 8 were successful and 2 were partial failures and 3 were complete failures. The GSLV is used till today to send larger payloads into Geostationary transfer orbit. And that brings us into ISRO’s final rocket which is the GSLV Mark 3. This rocket was designed in the early 2000s and is ISRO’s most powerful rocket which is capable of sending 10,000 kgs into low earth orbit. Similar to the PSLV, the GSLV Mark 3 is quite cost efficient in terms of cost per kilogram. The GSLV Mark 3 costs $51 million per launch meaning that it costs $5100 per kilogram. So far, the GSLV Mark 3 has only had 4 launches and all of them have been a success. It looks like ISRO has significantly improved their reliability compared to their early days.
Anyway, moving onto notable ISRO projects completed with these rockets, we have many satellite programs. The IRS series instance consists of a group of sattilites in Sun synchronous orbit. These satellites allow India to map and monitor natural resources such as fresh water. Another group of satellites managed by ISRO is the INSAT series. This group of sattilites is located in Geostationary transfer orbit and it provides telecommunications and broadcasting capabilities. In fact, INSAT is the largest domestic communication system in the Asia- Pacific region. ISRO also has satellites within their GAGAN satellite navigation system and within IRNSS. These groups provide navigation, communications, surveillance and many more survives to ISRO and India.
ISRO’s satellites are cool and where it gets really more interesting is their Lunar and Martian missions. After early 2000s, ISRO focused on sending humans to the Moon. The first step in this journey was sending a probe to the moon. In 2008, ISRO used a modified version of the PSLV to launch Chandrayaan 1 to the moon and this probe became the first probe to prove the existence of water on the Moon. According to Chandrayaan 1, the Lunar poles hold over 600 billion kilograms of ice. ISRO didn’t attempt another Lunar mission for quite some time, but the next attempt was a massive step up compared to Chandrayaan 1. Chandrayaan 2 was launched in 2019 using the GSLV Mark 3 and it consisted of a lunar orbiter, lander and a rover which were all developed by India. The goal of the mission was to prove ISRO’s ability to complete soft landing on the Moon’s surface. Unfortunately a software glitch would result in the lander deviating from the planned path and crashing into surface of the moon. ISRO is expecting to try another soft landing with Chandrayaan 3 which is expected to take place in 2022.