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Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme

Topic covered:

  1. Awareness in space.


Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: GSLV and GSLV programme- key features and significance.


Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the ongoing Phase 4 of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) programme.

  • The total fund requirement for the GSLV Continuation Programme is Rs 2729.13 crores including the cost of five GSLV vehicles, essential facility augmentation, programme management and launch campaign.


The programme and its significance:

  • The GSLV Programme – Phase 4 will enable the launch of 2 tonne class of satellites for Geo-imaging, Navigation, Data Relay Communication and Space Sciences into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  • Under the GSLV Continuation Programme, five GSLV flights have been planned during the period 2021-2024.
  • The GSLV Continuation Programme – Phase 4 will meet the launch requirement of satellites for providing critical Satellite Navigation Services and Data Relay Communication for supporting the Indian Human spaceflight programme ‘Gaganyaan’ and the next interplanetary mission to Mars.


Overall significance:

It will help sustain the self-reliance in the launching of similar satellites for national requirements including next generation navigation satellites, data relay communication satellites and interplanetary missions.


What is Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)?

GSLV is a 49 m tall three stage vehicle with the first stage comprising a solid booster with four liquid strap-on motors, each weighing 40 ton. The second stage is a liquid engine and the third stage is the indigenously built Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) which uses 15 ton of cryogenic propellants such as Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as fuel and Liquid Oxygen (LOX) as Oxidiser.

With the recent successful launch of GSLV-F11 on December 19, 2018, GSLV has successfully placed 10 national satellites.