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India set to launch heaviest satellite on Monday

India set to launch heaviest satellite on Monday

India on Monday (05 June) scripted history as it successfully launched its most powerful and heaviest geostationary rocket carrying advanced communication satellite GSAT-19 from the spaceport here.

"GSLV Mk III D1 successfully launches GSAT 19, " ISRO tweeted shortly after the launch. Putting it simple, today's launch success will help India to no longer depend on Europe's Ariane launches for putting its own heavy satellites into the geostationary orbits.

"MKIII D1/GSAT-19 mission takes India closer to the next generation launch vehicle and satellite capability", Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on his Twitter account.

If successful, the GSLV Mk-III is also likely to become India's launch vehicle of choice for manned missions in the future. "The nation is proud of this significant achievement".

Standing tall at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, the rocket, expected to be launched at 5:28 pm, weighs 640 tonnes and is 43.43 metres tall. GSLV-Mk III is the heaviest rocket ever made by India and is capable of carrying the heaviest satellites made till date.

Isro would have used the CE-20 powered GSLV Mk III in 2003 had it not been for the United States sanctions and a case foisted on Isro scientist Nambi Narayanan, who was the project director for the development of cryogenic engine in the early 1990s.

Cheap cost of labor and government support has meant that India can put satellites into space at 70% less than rival countries. The second is liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.

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On 15 April 2010, the engine failed 800 milliseconds after ignition during the launch of GSLV-D3 carrying GSAT-4 satellite.

Vice President of India M. Hamid Ansari while congratulating ISRO said that the successful launch of the indigenously developed heavy lift space vehicle, including the cryogenic stage, demonstrates India's ability to launch large payloads.

More importantly, the GSAT-19 employs a new method of transmitting and receiving data, using multi-frequency beams, which will open up new satellite-based internet capabilities for the country, particularly for parts that are not covered by the optic fibre cable networks. But ISRO scientists never gave up and kept working on improving the rocket systems.

Scientists say the rocket could be used in the future to carry an astronaut into space, something that only Russian Federation, the United States and China have done.

The rocket's main and bigger cryogenic engine has been developed by space scientists here.

Right now, out of a constellation of 41 in-orbit Indian satellites, there are 13 communication satellites Also, the total mission life of the GSAT-19 is a decade.

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