The launch of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second moon
mission, was aborted after a technical snag in the launch vehicle system- GSLV
Mk-III rocket. GSLV Mk-III has been touted as the most powerful rocket built by
The GSLV Mk-III is a three-stage rocket
developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It has been
designed to carry four-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer
Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
The first stage consists of two strap-on tanks
fitted to the either side of the rocket. The tanks contain solid fuel that is
burnt, providing the initial thrust to fly the rocket out of Earth’s
The second stage consists of the core booster.
It burns liquid fuel and is the primary source of thrust after the strap-on
tanks detach from the rocket.
The final stage is a cryogenic engine installed
in the top part of the GSLV Mk-III. The cryogenic upper stage provides the
last-mile thrust after the liquid core booster separates from the rocket.
GSLV Mk-III had two successful flights till now—
a) it carried and deployed the GSAT-19 communication satellite in June 2017 and
b) the GSAT-29 communication satellite in November 2018.
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles (GSLV)
are space launch vehicle. They are used to put into geostationary orbits that
are over 30,000 km from Earth. They use a different fuel and can carry heavier
payloads and travel deeper into space when compared to PSLVs.
PSLVs (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) are also
satellite launch vehicles. PSLV is designed mainly to deliver the satellites
with lift-off mass of up to about 1750 Kg to Sun-Synchronous circular polar
orbits of 600-900 Km altitude. These orbits are also referred to as “Low Earth