Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle
A GSLV in the VAB before launch
|Function||Medium Lift Launch System|
|Country of origin||India|
|Height||49 metres (161 ft)|
|Diameter||2.8 metres (9 ft 2 in)|
|Mass||402,000 kilograms (886,000 lb)|
|2,000 to 2,500 kilograms (4,410 to 5,500 lb)|
|Launch sites||Satish Dhawan|
|Total launches||7 (6 Mk.I, 1 Mk.II)|
|Failures||4 (3 Mk.I, 1 Mk.II)|
|Partial failures||1 (Mk.I)|
|First flight||Mk.I: 18 April 2001
Mk.II: 15 April 2010
|Boosters (Stage 0)|
|Engines||1 L40H Vikas 2|
|Thrust||680 kilonewtons (150,000 lbf)|
|Total thrust||2,720 kilonewtons (610,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||262 sec|
|Burn time||160 seconds|
|Thrust||4,700 kilonewtons (1,100,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||166 sec|
|Burn time||100 seconds|
|Engines||1 GS2 Vikas 4|
|Thrust||720 kilonewtons (160,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||295 s (2.89 kN·s/kg)|
|Burn time||150 seconds|
|Third Stage (GSLV Mk.I) - 12KRB|
|Thrust||69 kilonewtons (16,000 lbf)|
|Specific impulse||460 s (4.5 kN·s/kg)|
|Burn time||720 seconds|
|Third Stage (GSLV Mk.II) - CUS12|
|Engines||1 ICE|
|Thrust||73.5 kilonewtons (16,500 lbf)|
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (usually known by its abbreviation, GSLV) is an expendable launch system operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was developed to enable India to launch its INSAT-type satellites into geostationary orbit and to make India less dependent on foreign rockets.
GSLV has attempted seven launches to date, since its first launch in 2001 through its most recent launch in 2010. Two launches have been successful, four have failed, and one was a partial failure, placing the satellite into an unplanned, but recoverable, orbit. The eighth flight for the GSLV is scheduled for 15th December 2013, following an attempt on August 19 which was scrubbed after a fuel leak was detected.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) project was initiated in 1990 with the objective of acquiring an Indian government launch capability for Geosynchronous satellites. Until then, India depended on the former Soviet Union for the launch of heavy satellites.
GSLV uses major components that are already proven in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launchers in the form of the S125/S139 solid booster and the liquid-fueled Vikas engine. The first development flight of GSLV Mk.I (GSLV-D1) was launched on 18 April 2001. GSLV-F04 is the fifth flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite launch Vehicle (GSLV), launched INSAT-4CR satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) of 170 km perigee and 35,975 km apogee with an orbital inclination of 21.7 degree with respect to equator on September 2, 2007. Subsequently, the satellite was manoeuvred into geostationary orbit using its own propulsion system.
The 49 metres (161 ft) tall GSLV, with a lift-off mass of 415 tonnes (457 tons), is a three-stage vehicle with solid, liquid and cryogenic stages. The first stage of GSLV, one of the largest in the world, uses Hydroxyl Terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) based propellant. The second stage and the four strap-on motors surrounding the first stage use liquid propellant 'Vikas' engine burning UH25 and Nitrogen Tetraoxide. The third stage is a cryogenic stage using liquid Hydrogen as fuel and liquid Oxygen as oxidiser. GSLV employs S-band telemetry and C-band transponders for enabling vehicle performance monitoring, tracking, range safety / flight safety and Preliminary Orbit Determination.
The payload fairing, which is 7.8 metres (26 ft) long and 3.4 metres (11 ft) in diameter, protects the vehicle electronics and the spacecraft during its ascent through the atmosphere. It is discarded when the vehicle reaches an altitude of about 115 km.
The Redundant Strap Down Inertial Navigation System/Inertial Guidance System of GSLV housed in its equipment bay guides the vehicle from lift-off to spacecraft injection. The digital auto-pilot and closed loop guidance scheme ensure the required attitude manoeuvre and guide injection of the spacecraft to the specified orbit.
GSLV, as all other satellite launch vehicles of India, is launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India. The maiden flight occurred in 2001 carrying GSAT-1, however the launch failed to reach the correct orbit. Attempts to save the payload, by using its own propulsion system to manoeuvre it into the correct orbit were unsuccessful as it ran out of fuel several thousand kilometres below geosynchronous orbit.
The GSLV became operational after a second development flight, which successfully placed GSAT-2 in 2003. In its first operational flight in September 2004, GSLV launched EDUSAT - India's first dedicated satellite for educational services. However, the second operational flight, GSlV-F02, conducted on July 10, 2006 did not succeed in placing the satellite INSAT-4C into orbit.
A replacement satellite, INSAT-4CR was launched in September 2007. The launch was a partial failure, with the satellite being placed into a lower-than-planned orbit, but unlike GSAT-1 it was able to correct its own orbit, at the expense of several years' operational life.
Two launches in 2010 both failed; the first, in April, was the first flight of the GSLV Mk.II, with an Indian-developed third stage engine replacing the Russian engine used on earlier flights. The third stage failed to ignite. The next launch, in December, used the Russian engine, however the vehicle went out of control during first stage flight and was destroyed by range safety.
The GSLV improved on the performance of the PSLV with the addition of liquid strap-on boosters and a cryogenic upper stage. It is a three-stage launch vehicle with the first stage being solid-propelled, the second liquid-propelled (with hypergolic fuels) and the final stage being liquid propelled as well (with cryogenic fuels). The solid first and liquid second stages are carried over from the PSLV. Early GSLV launches used cryogenic upper stages supplied by Russia. India originally tried to buy the technology to build a cryogenic upper stage from Russia, but under pressure from the United States, that technology was not provided. Therefore, ISRO developed the cryogenic engine used in the GSLV indigenously.
The GSLV can place approximately 5000 kg (11,000 lbm) into an easterly low Earth orbit. Using the Russian 12KRB upper stage, with KVD-1 cryogenic rocket engine, GSLV can place 2200 kg (4,850 lbm) into an 18 degree geostationary transfer orbit.
The GSLV uses four L40 liquid strap-on boosters derived from the L37.5 second stage, which are loaded with 40 tons of hypergolic propellants (UDMH & N2O4). The propellants are stored in tandem in two independent tanks 2.1 m diameter. The engine is pump-fed and generates 680 kN (150,000 lbf) of thrust, with a burn time of 149 seconds.
S139 stage is 2.8 m in diameter and has a nominal burn time of 109sec.
GSLV Mk I (a)
GSLV Mk I (b)
This variant had 139 t (S-139) first stage and improved fuel in the strap-on boosters & second stage. This variant can launch 1900 kg into geostationary transfer orbit.
GSLV Mk I (c)
This variant has a 15 tonne third stage. GSLV-F06 (flight 6) is the only attempted launch of the Mark I(c) version to date.
GSLV Mk II
This variant uses an Indian cryogenic engine and is capable of launching 2500 kg into geostationary transfer orbit. Previous GSLV vehicles (GSLV Mk.I) have used Russian cryogenic engines.
GSLV Mk III
This rocket is the technological successor to the GSLV.
|Flight||Launch date/time (UTC)||Variant||Launch Pad||Payload||Payload Mass||Result||Note(s)|
|D1||18 April 2001
|Mk I(a)||First||GSAT-1||1,540 kg||Failure||Developmental Flight, payload placed into lower than planned orbit, and did not have sufficient fuel to reach a usable orbit.|
|D2||8 May 2003
|Mk I(a)||First||GSAT-2||1,825 kg||Success||Developmental Flight|
|F01||20 September 2004
|Mk I(b)||First||EDUSAT||1,950 kg||Success||First operational flight|
|F02||10 July 2006
|Mk I(b)||Second||INSAT-4C||2,168 kg||Failure||Both rocket and satellite had to be destroyed over the Bay of Bengal after the rocket's trajectory veered outside of permitted limits.|
|F04||2 September 2007
|Mk I(b)||Second||INSAT-4CR||2,160 kg||Partial failure||Successful Launch, apogee lower and inclination higher than expected, due to minor error in guidance subsystem. Eventually the 2160 kg payload reached the designated geostationary transfer orbit. Minor error in orbit inclination corrected by satellite mission operators. Satellite is fully operational and full design life of ten years will be achieved. It completed 5 years in orbit successfully |
|D3||15 April 2010
|Mk II||Second||GSAT-4||2,220 kg||Failure||First flight test of the ISRO designed and built Cryogenic Upper Stage. Failed to reach orbit due to malfunction of Fuel Booster Turbo Pump (FBTP) of the Cryogenic Upper Stage.|
|D4||25 December 2010
|Mk I(c)||Second||GSAT-5P||2,130 kg||Failure||First flight of GSLV Mk.I (c) Destroyed by range safety officer after loss of control of liquid-fueled boosters.|
|To be Launched|
|D5||1st week of January, 2014||Mk II||Second||GSAT-14||1,980 kg||Launch Rescheduled||Second flight of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic upper stage(CUS) developed by ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).|
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