Why in News: In its tenth flight (GSLV-F05) conducted recently, India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched the country’s weather satellite INSAT-3DR, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
- The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota, the spaceport of India.
- This was the first operational flight of GSLV equipped with CUS and the fourth to carry the indigenous CUS.
- This flight was the third consecutive success achieved by GSLV carrying indigenous CUS.
- The 2211 kg INSAT-3DR is the heaviest satellite to be launched from the Indian soil.
- INSAT-3DR satellite is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 169.76 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 36,080.5 km with an orbital inclination of 20.62 deg with respect to the equator.
About INSAT- 3DR:
- INSAT-3DR is an advanced meteorological (weather observation) satellite built by India to provide a variety inputs essential for accurate weather forecasting.
- INSAT-3DR carries a satellite aided Search and Rescue Transponder that picks up and relays alert signals originating from distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land based users.
- The major users of the service will be the Indian Coast Guards, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Directorate General of Shipping, Defence Services and fishermen.
- The Indian service region will cover a large part of the Indian Ocean and will also include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania for providing distress alert services.
- The successful launch marks a departure from the long history of failures with the GSLV; except for the first, every launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the workhorse of ISRO, has been a success. That September 8 launch marks the third consecutive success; the fact that it is the first operational flight by the GSLV carrying the indigenous cryogenic upper stage is confirmation that India now belongs to the elite club of countries that have mastered the cryogenic technology.
- Maintaining structural and thermal integrity of the engine at very high temperatures during combustion just a few centimetres away from – 250° C, a temperature at which materials behave very differently, is a huge challenge. Likewise, igniting a cryogenic fuel and sustaining the combustion for a prolonged period is a daunting task.
- It has fully utilised the maximum payload carrying capacity of the GSLV-Mk II by carrying the heaviest satellite (2,211 kg) ever from Indian soil. This became possible only because the cryogenic upper stage was used.