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The GSLV-III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III , is a launch vehicle under development by the Indian Space Research Organization. GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4500 to 5000 kg. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market. The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO, LEO, Polar and intermediate circular orbits.

GSLV-Mk III is designed to be a three stage vehicle, with 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes. The GSLV-M III, which is currently under advanced stage of development, uses two solid strap-on boosters (S200), L110 liquid stage and a cryogenic upper stage C-25. First stage comprises two identical S200 Large Solid Booster (LSB) with 200 tonne solid propellant, that are strapped on to the second stage, the L110 re-startable liquid stage. The third stage is the C25 LOX/LH2 cryo stage. The large payload fairing measures 5 m in diameter and can accommodate a payload volume of 100 cu m. Realisation of GSLV Mk-III will help ISRO to put heavier satellites into orbit.

Indian Space Research Organisation successfully conducted the static test of its largest solid booster S200 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota January 24, 2010. The successful test of S200 makes it the third largest solid booster in the world, next to the RSRM solid booster of Space Shuttle and P230 solid booster of ARIANE-5. The S200 solid booster will form the strap-on stage for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) which was currently under advanced stage of development for launching 4 ton class of communication satellites.

S200 solid booster contains 200 tonnes of solid propellant in three segments. The motor measures 22 meter long and 3.2 meter in diameter. The design, development and successful realisation of S200 solid booster were a pure indigenous effort involving Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram and Satish Shawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota with the participation of Indian Industries. The S200 solid booster derived its heritage from the solid boosters developed earlier for the ISRO launch vehicle programme. The preparation and casting of S200 solid booster segments were carried out at the newly established Solid Propellant Plant (SPP) at SDSC, Sriharikota. During the test, the S200 booster was fired for 130 seconds and generated a peak thrust of about 500 tonnes. The performance of the booster was exactly as predicted. Nearly 600 health parameters were monitored during the test and the initial data indicates normal performance.

Six months after a failed test, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully conducted the second static testing of its liquid core stage (L110) of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk -III). In September 2010 the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully tested the propellant system of the body's soon-to-be launch mega vehicle, in the Tamil Nadu's Mahendragiri district. In a landmark experiment, a team of eminent scientists and experts from ISRO carried out the static testing of the liquid core stage of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-M III).

Lasting for 200 seconds, the test was deemed a 'success' by the ISRO chief K. Radhakrishnan. L110 is one of the heaviest earth storable liquid stages ever developed by ISRO. L110 stage had two high pressure Vikas engines in a clustered configuration. Nearly 500 health parameters were monitored during the test and the initial data acquired indicates its normal performance. Today`s successful test of L110 for its full flight duration of 200 seconds, is a major mile stone in the earth storable liquid rocket programme of ISRO and a significant step forward in the development of GSLV-Mk III launch vehicle.

The second static test of S200 motor (ST-02) was successfully conducted on September 4th, 2011. Towards improving the margin and considering the post test thermal effects of ST-01, certain modifications were incorporated in the S200 ST-02 Motor. The objectives of S200-ST-02 were : to confirm the ballistic performance of the motor and to evaluate the differential thrust with respect to ST-01 motor; to ensure the repeat performance of hardware under motor operating environment; to confirm the performance of the flex nozzle with improved carbon cloth reinforced thermal boot and modified FSTP subassembly under specified duty cycle. The performance of the motor was normal and all the measured parameters were very close to the normal prediction.

GSLV Mk-III X-Mission is planned to demonstrate the performance of S200 strapon boosters, L110 stage performance, structural stability of the fully integrated GSLV Mk-III vehicle, etc,. During the year 2011 Six S200 segments (HES-2 Nos., MS- 2 Nos. & NES 2 Nos) are produced for S200 Strapon boosters of GSLV Mk-III X – Mission flight at Solid Propellant Plant (SPP).

The GSLV Mk-III full vehicle integration & L110 stage fluid mock-up activities were in progress to study the integration interfaces of the GSLV Mk-III vehicle at SSAB, VAB and launch pad, evaluation/verification of the propellant/gas filling systems & software, etc,. L-110 stage received & preparation activities were carried out at L110 building VAST. L110 stage was integrated with IS 1/2M & IS 1/2 U and stage was transported to the SSAB. In SSAB GSLV Mk-III vehicle integration was completed upto cryo stage and moved to the VAB. After completion of mock-up activities at VAB, vehicle was moved to the launchpad for fluid mock-up & launch pad systems for qualification/verification.

India’s huge Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV- Mark III) was to first be launched with a crew capsule from Sriharikota in June 2014, signalling that the country is getting ready to send its own astronauts into space. The significance of the mission is that it would be a forerunner to India sending its astronauts to space. For, the GSLV-Mk III in this flight will carry a crew capsule without astronauts. The capsule will return to earth with the help of parachutes. The mission will take place in June or first week of July.

ISRO planned to carry out the first experimental flight with a passive cryogenic stage. The flight, which was expected to validate some new systems and flight sequences, will be followed by a developmental flight with an operational cryogenic stage in 2016-17. Another developmental flight was scheduled for 2017-18 before operational flights are taken up.

India successfully launched its largest rocket and an unmanned capsule which could send astronauts into space. The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MK III blasted off from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh early December 18, 2014.

Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage.

The mission began with the launch of GSLV Mk-III at 9:30 am IST from the Second Launch Pad as scheduled and about five and a half minutes later, carried its payload - the 3775 kg Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) - to the intended height of 126 km. Following this, CARE separated from the upper stage of GSLV Mk-III and re-entered the atmosphere and safely landed over Bay of Bengal with the help of its parachutes about 20 minutes 43 seconds after lift-off.

Two massive S-200 solid strap-on boosters, each carrying 207 tons of solid propellants, ignited at vehicle lift-off and after functioning normally, separated 153.5 seconds later. L110 liquid stage ignited 120 seconds after lift-off, while S200s were still functioning, and carried forward for the next 204.6 seconds.

After the successful re-entry phase, CARE module's parachutes opened, following which it gently landed over Andaman Sea about 1600 km from Sriharikota, there by successfully concluding the GSLV Mk-III X/CARE mission.

The first developmental flight of GSLV Mk III, the GSLV-Mk III-D1 successfully placed GSAT-19 satellite to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on June 05, 2017 from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. GSLV-Mk III is capable launching 4 ton class of satellites to Geosynchronous Transfer orbit (GTO). It is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons (S200), a liquid propellant core stage (L110) and a cryogenic stage (C25). GSLV-Mk III-D1 is the first developmental flight, carrying 3136 kg GSAT-19 satellite to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The vehicle is configured with a 5 m ogive payload fairing and slanted strap-on nose cone to provide aerodynamic robustness.

Lift-off weight 630 Tonne
Pay Load 4 Tonne in to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO)
Height 42.4 metre


GSLV MK IV with a capacity of 6500 kg GTO / 15000 kg LEO may go in development after successful launch of GSLV MK II. Some speculative people have suggested that if a GSLV-Mk4 configuration could lift 20-25 tonnes to LEO, then India could even be in a position for a circum-lunar flight, sending astronauts around the Moon and back. Instead of 2 boosters 4 would apply, instead of the dual thrust first stage a quad engine first stage can be applied, and bigger 160 to 200 tonne core stage with more Vikas engines in the cluster.

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