Last week, ISRO successfully launched the GSLV MK III which lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Thursday 28th of December 2014 with the CARE Crew module which is being tested for future astronaut missions.
The launch saw the crew module being carried to an approximate height of 125 km before it was separated from the GSLV MK III and was allowed to re-enter the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal. The capsule landed as planned and was retrieved by the Indian Navy about 20 minutes after lift off. The capsule module was taken to Kamrajar port near Chennai in the south of India and will be shifted to Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala for further advanced study.
ISRO’s growing prowess
This achievement is an additional feather in ISRO’s cap which earlier this year successfully concluded the MOM Mars orbiter mission. The successful launch will increase the opportunities that exist for India and will also help the government save millions of dollars which it currently spends on Ariane launches.
However skeptics are warning space enthusiasts to not get carried away as this is only an experimental launch and it did not have a live cryogenic stage. The c25 engine is the most critical part of the GSLV and the testing of this critical phase will help in increasing the confidence of ISRO’s engineers.
Future Launches – IRNSS Satellites
2015 will see ISRO launch the 4th satellite of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellites System (IRNSS). The IRNSS is India’s version of a regional satellite navigation system. Only US, Russia and China have their own satnav systems. The IRNSS will have a total of 7 satellites , 3 of which have already been launched. The 4th satellite is expected to be launched in early March 2015, with the rest to follow soon in the year 2015.