India tests rocket booster for heavier satellites (Lead)

January 24th, 2010 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO Bangalore, Jan 24 (IANS) India successfully conducted the static test of its largest solid fuel booster for launching heavier satellites using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III), the space agency said Sunday.
“The solid propellent booster (S200) will form the strap-on stage for the GSLV-Mark III, which is in advanced stage of development for launching four-tonne class of communication satellites,” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.

The test was conducted earlier in the day at ISRO’s spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km north-east of Chennai.

The successful test makes S200 the third largest solid booster in the world, next to the reusable solid rocket motor (RSRM) solid booster of Space Shuttle of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US and P230 solid booster of Ariane-5 of Arianespace, a launch service and solutions consortium of European countries.

The booster or motor, containing 200 tonnes of solid propellant (rocket fuel) in three segments and measuring 22 metres, was designed and developed at the space agency’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

“During the test, the motor was fired for 130 seconds (2:10 minutes) and generated a peak thrust of about 500 tonnes. Its performance was exactly as predicted. About 600 health parameters were monitored and the initial data indicates normal performance,” the statement noted.

Terming the test a major milestone in the solid rocket motor programme, a space official said its success would speed up the development of the advanced version of GSLV for launching heavier satellites.

“GSLV-Mk III will enhance the country’s capability to be a competitive player in the multi-million dollar commercial launch market,” ISRO director S.Satish told IANS.

The 49-metre tall three-stage rocket, with a lift-off weight of 629 tonnes, can be used for multiple space missions to deploy satellites in geo transfer orbit, low earth orbit, polar and intermediate circular orbits.

“The GSLV-Mk III is scheduled for a launch in 2011,” the official added.

ISRO has used the indigenous GSLV-Mk I & II for launching five satellites weighing 1.5-2.5 tonnes for communication, broadcasting, weather (Kalpana-1) and education (Edusat) between 2001 and 2007.

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