The successful launch of the South Asia Satellite, the Indian space agency ISRO is now busy preparing for the maiden launch of its heaviest rocket — the 640-tonne Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV Mk III), which is scheduled for June launch.The notable aspect of this rocket is that the main and bigger cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists here and will be powering the rocket for the first time.”Our 12 years of labour is expected to bear fruit this June. Preparation for the June launch of GSLV Mk III rocket carrying communication satellite GSAT-19 is on at Sriharikota,” K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), told IANS.The GSAT 19, weighing around 3.2 tonnes — the heaviest satellite to be lifted by an Indian rocket — is already at the Sriharikota rocket port. “The rocket’s design carrying capacity is four tonnes. The payload will be gradually increased in the future flights of the GSLV Mk-III,” Sivan said. According to ISRO, GSAT-19 is a multi-beam satellite planned to carry Ka and Ku band forward and return link transponders. The satellite’s design lifespan is 15 years.Speaking at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, the ISRO chief said: “ISRO handled more than 151 missions that have been completed. These include 88 satellite programmes and 59 satellite launch vehicles.” Referring to ISRO contributions, he said that the technologies developed and data available through various satellites it has launched is being used for applications in agriculture, weather forecasting and in tele-medicine. Efforts are on to see if a Postman could serve as a link between farmers and government, he said.
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