The Indian Space Research Organisation on Monday launched the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle Mark-III, carrying communication satellite GSAT-19, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It was the “heaviest-ever rocket and satellite” launched from India.
The rocket was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The GSLV Mk III was scheduled to launch the satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit after 16.20 minutes following the lift-off. The rocket weighs 640 tonnes and is 43.43 metres tall.
Isro published several pictures capturing the moments before the launch. Here are some of them:
What this means for India
The launch was significant since India pays a massive Rs 800 crore to launch a heavy INSAT-class satellites from the European Space Agency. “At one third the cost or at about Rs 350 crore, India can launch heavier satellites on GSLV Mk III,” GSLV Mk III Vehicle Director J Jayaprakash said. Former Isro chairperson K Radhakrishnan said the successful launch would open up the international market for Isro and that foreign satellites can also be launched from here in future.