Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) | ISRO
Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) | ISRO

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) | ISRO

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) also known as Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark 2 ( GSLV-Mk-2) is India’s largest launch vehicle, developed by India itself, which is in use currently. This launch vehicle has four liquid strap-ons and is a fourth general vehicle having three stages. The three stages namely are CUS, GS2 and GS1.

Launches Till Date 

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle has launched 13 Indian satellites into space till date. The GSLV-MK-2 carried GST-1 into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit on April 18, 2001. Since then, the GSLV has mostly had a smooth run. The last mission it carried out was the GSAT-7A Mission on December 19, 2018, when the GSLV carried the GSAT-7A as its payload into space.

The functioning was not always smooth. In 2010, the GSLV had two continuous unsuccessful missions. The first one happened on April 15, 2010, when the GSLV-MK-2 was carrying GSAT-4 into orbit. The second one was on Christmas, December 25 in 2010. The occurred on the GSLV-MK-2 was carrying GSAT-5P into the GTO. 

Technical Specifications

Strap-on Motors

The GSLV uses four heavy liquid engine strap-ons.

Fuel: UDMH + N2O4
Max. Thrust: 680 kN
Burntime: 160 sec

Payload to GTO: 2500 Kg

GSLV’s main payloads are a particular class of communication satellites. The GSLV places these satellites in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits to operate in the Geostationary Orbits. 

Payload to LEO: 5000 Kg

The GSLV can carry and place up to 5 tonnes in the Low Earth Orbits. This can also mean not just one heavy satellite but much lighter and smaller satellites. 

Third Stage: CUS

Developed under the Cryogenic Upper Stage Project (CUSP), the CE-7.5 is India’s first cryogenic engine, developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre. CE-7.5 has a staged combustion operating cycle.

Fuel: LOX + LH2
Max. Thrust: 75 kN
Burn-time: 720 sec

Second Stage: GS2

One Vikas engine is used in the second stage of GSLV. The stage was derived from the PS2 of PSLV where the Vikas engine has proved its reliability.

Engine: Vikas
Fuel: UDMH + N2O4
Max. Thrust: 800 kN
Burntime: 150 sec

First Stage: GS1

The first stage of GSLV was also derived from the PSLV’s PS1. The 138 tonne solid rocket motor is augmented by 4 liquid strap-ons.

Engine: S139
Fuel: HTPB
Max. Thrust: 4700 kN
Burntime: 100 sec

Vehicle Specifications 

Height49.13 m
Number of Stages3
Lift off Mass414.75 tonnes
First FlightApril 18, 2001

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