Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III

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Function Mid-Heavy Lift Launch System
Manufacturer ISRO
Country of origin India
Height 42.4 m
Diameter 4.0 m
Mass 630,000 Kg
Stages 3
Payload to LEO 10,000 kg
Payload to
4,000–5000 kg[1]
Launch history
Status In Development
Launch sites Satish Dhawan Space Centre, ANDHRA PRADESH
First flight Scheduled for 2014[2]
Boosters (Stage 0) - S-200
No. boosters 2
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 5151 kN Each booster [3]
Burn time 130 sec
Fuel Solid
First stage - L-110
Engines 2 Vikas
Thrust 1,600 kN
Specific impulse 300 sec
Burn time 200 sec
Fuel UDMH + N2O4
Second stage - C25
Engines 1 CE-20
Thrust 200 kN[4] (20 Tf)
Specific impulse 450 sec
Burn time 580 sec
Fuel LOX/LH2

The GSLV-III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III is a current launch vehicle development project by the Indian Space Research Organization that got underway in the early-2000s. It is intended to launch heavy satellites into geostationary orbit, and will allow India to become less dependent on foreign rockets for heavy lifting. The GSLV MK-3 will have an India built cryogenic stage with higher capacity than GSLV MK-2 and a passive cryogenic third stage.[5][6][7] It would also be carrying a crew module.


Development for the GSLV Mk III began in the early 2000s,with original plan for the first launch in 2009-2010. But several factors have delayed the program, including the "failure of ISRO-developed cryogenic upper stage on April 15, 2010."[8]

In 2007, wind tunnel tests were completed and vehicle aero-elastic tests have commenced. The vehicle configuration update was completed. All major facilities including propellant plant, vehicle assembly and integration building, mobile launch pedestal and facilities at work centers have reached[when?] the final phase of completion.

First batch of light alloy structure and motor case segments were realized at work centers.[when?] The avionics system designs have been completed and first batch of packages are being realized for qualification. Avionics assemblies layout has been finalized and integration trials for package assembly are being carried out.[citation needed]

A suborbital flight test of the GSLV Mk3 launcher, without its cryogenic third stage, is planned by end of 2014, and its first orbital flight will take place in 2016.[9] ISRO would then need several more successful launches to declare the launcher safe for manned flight. First manned flight is unlikely before 2020, possibly 2–3 years later.[8] GSLV MK-3 first flight in 2014 would be used to test the crew module for the manned mission according to ISRO Chairman. He said "The crew module for the proposed manned mission will be flown on the Mk-III vehicle. This will be a sub-orbital flight to test the first stage and to ensure that the rocket gains five km/second velocity".[10]

S-200 Static test[edit]

The Solid booster S-200 was successfully tested in 24 January 2010. During the test, the S-200 booster was fired for 130 seconds and generated a peak thrust of about 500 tonnes. The performance of the booster was exactly as predicted. Nearly 600 health parameters were monitored during the test and the initial data indicates normal performance. The second successful static test of the S200 solid booster was conducted at SDSC, SHAR on September 4, 2011. Each S-200 booster given the thrust of 5151 KN at sea Level.[11]

L-110 Static test[edit]

Indian Space Research Organisation conducted the static test of its liquid core stage (L110) of GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, for 150 seconds at its Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) test facility at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu at 16:00 hrs on March 5, 2010.While the test was originally targeted for 200 seconds it was stopped at 150 seconds since a deviation in one of the parameters was observed. Then on 8 September the same year ISRO successfully conducted the second static testing of L110 for 200 seconds . In future launch vehicles L110 will be replaced with ISRO's Liquid Oxygen and Kerosen engine SC2000 which gives 2000KN Thrust at Sealevel.[12][13] Nearly 500 health parameters were monitored during the test and the initial data acquired indicated its normal performance.[12]

Vehicle Description[edit]

Stage 1 - Solid boosters[edit]

The boosters used on the GSLV-III will be the S-200, which is also designated Large Solid Booster, or LSB. It is a solid propellant stage with a mass of 200 tonnes. Two boosters will be used. Each has a diameter of 3.2 metres and a length of 25 metres.

Stage 2 - Liquid motor[edit]

The core stage will be the L-110 restartable liquid stage which has 110 tonnes of liquid propellant and a diameter of 4-metres. It will be the first Indian liquid engine cluster design, and will use two improved Vikas engines, each producing 75 tonnes (735 kN) of thrust. The improved Vikas engine will use regenerative cooling, providing improved weight and specific impulse, compared to earlier rockets.[14] L110 is one of the heaviest earth storable liquid stages ever developed by ISRO.[12]

Stage 3 - Cryogenic upper stage[edit]

The cryogenic upper stage will be the C-25, powered by the CE-20 engine, fueled by 25 tonnes of LOX+LH2. It will be 4 metres (13 ft) in diameter and 8.2 metres (27 ft) long. The stage will produce 20 tonnes-force (200 kN) of thrust.[15]

This engine is slated for completion and testing by 2015, it will then be integrated with the C-25 stage and be put through a series of tests. The first C-25 stage will be used on the GSLV MK-III D-1 mission in early 2017. This mission will put in orbit the GSAT-19E communication satellite.[16] Work on the C-25 stage and CE-20 engine for GSLV Mk-III upper stage was initiated in 2003, the project has been subject to many delays due to problems with ISRO's smaller cryogenic engine the CE-7.5 for GSLV MK-II upper stage. After completion of CE-20 engine for GSLV MK-III ISRO plans to start working on CE-60 and CE-100 cryogenic engines for future heavy lift vehicles being planned.[citation needed]

Payload fairing[edit]

The payload fairing will have a diameter of 5 metres (16 ft) and a payload volume of 100 cubic metres (3,500 cu ft).[17]

Scheduled launches[edit]

Flight Launch date/time (UTC) Variant Launch Pad Payload Payload Mass Result Note(s)
December 2014[18] Mk III Second Crew Module (Boilerplate) kg [19] Sub-orbital Development flight
E1 Late 2015-Early 2016[20]
Mk III Second GSAT-19E[16] kg orbital first operational flight

Comparable rockets[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The GSLV-III". Indian Space Research Organisation. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  2. ^ "Now, ISRO Well on Course to Test Giant Rocket GSLV Mk-III". Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "India to test world's third largest solid rocket booster". Science and Technology Section. The Hindu News Paper. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2009-12-07. 
  4. ^ "LPSC Handouts at Aer India-2009". Specifications of CE-20. Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  5. ^ "Indian Space Research Organisation preparing for three more PSLV launches". English: The Hindu. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "GSLV MkIII, the next milestone : Interview: K. Radhakrishnan". Print edition : February 7, 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "India’s GSLV Mk-3 First Flight Pushed Back to April 2014". 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-04-28. "The launcher was initially expected to become operational by 2010/2011 with first flight in 2009-10." 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "ISRO inches closer to manned mission". 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-01-10. "We will be checking the crew capsule for all parameters." 
  11. ^ Isro successfully tests world's 3rd largest solid booster
  12. ^ a b c ISRO Press Release:Successful Static Testing of L 110 Liquid Core Stage of GSLV - Mk III
  13. ^ ISRO successfully conducts static testing of new age rocket
  14. ^ "Space Transportation". GSLV - Mk III - Status of CE-20. Indian Space Research Organization. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  15. ^ "Space Transportation". GSLV - Mk III - Status of CE-20. Indian Space Research Organization. 2009-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^ "GSLV MkIII to launch Isro’s next mission". Hindustan times. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  19. ^
  20. ^

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