In another booster to India's space programme and braving major technological challenges, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully demonstrated its capability to launch its heaviest rocket GSLV-Mark III on 18 December from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
GSLV-Mark III carrying the crew module lifted off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
The crew module was separated from the launch vehicle, at an altitude of 126 km for re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. It then descended further in ballistic mode followed by an uncontrollable re-entry trajectory. It was then recovered from Bay of Bengal near Indira Point by coast guards.
GSLV Mk-III is conceived and designed to make India fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market.
It is designed to be a three stage vehicle, with 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes.
The GSLV Mk-III will also test the recovery of a dummy crew module from sea. The success of the module will be the core for a future Human Space Project.