The latest MkII version of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) launcher successfully completed the first operational flight on 8th September. The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota.
The mission (GSLV-F05) was the first operational flight of the GSLV carrying the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). Three earlier flights of the GSLV with the CUS were classified as qualification flights.
GSLV-F05 was the tenth flight of the GSLV and marked the sixth launch success for the vehicle. It carried INSAT-3DR, an advanced weather satellite weighing 2,211kg, into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSLV is designed to inject 2 - 2.5t satellites into GTO.
The launch vehicle configuration was similar to the ones flown during the previous GSLV-D5 and D6 missions in January 2014 and August 2015. GSLV-D5 and D6 successfully placed GSAT-14 and GSAT-6 satellites in the intended GTOs.
Like its predecessor INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR carries a Data Relay Transponder as well as a Search and Rescue Transponder. INSAT-3DR will provide service continuity to earlier meteorological missions of ISRO and further augment the capability to provide various meteorological as well as search and rescue services.