The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the GSLV Mark III rocket carrying the GSAT-29 communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on 14 November 2018. Marking ISRO’s fifth launch for the current year, the communication satellite carries high throughput communication transponders in the Ka and Ku bands which can expand high-speed data transfer in the remote areas of India.
The satellite launch is the second test flight for the GSLV Mark III rocket, which is also ISRO’s heaviest rocket. The rocket is capable of introducing four-tonne class satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit. ISRO has also deferred the launch by 12 hours, initially scheduled at 5.08 am on Wednesday, due to bad weather conditions as a result of cyclonic storm Gaja, which was expected to make landfall at the launch venue, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The launch schedule was moved to 5.08 pm on the same day and the space agency started the countdown from 2.50 pm on Tuesday, according to the ISRO website. The ISRO chief said the Wednesday launch was one of the “very important missions and a milestone” for India’s space programme.
The satellite would be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the onboard propulsion system and it may take a few days after separation from the launcher to reach the orbital slot. The GSLV-MkIII-D2 is a three-stage launch vehicle with two solid strap-ons, a liquid core stage, and a cryogenic upper stage. Compared to solid and liquid stages, the C25 cryogenic stage is more efficient as well as complex.