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ISRO launches the Baahubali of rockets, creates history

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieved an incredible feat at 5:28 PM on Monday. It launched into orbit the 640-tonne GSLV Mk-III. It was a proud moment for the entire country as the indigenous rocket launch broke the jinx that plagued earlier maiden launches by the space organization. This launch will take India a step closer to next generation communication capabilities.

The path to this monumental success was not easy though. ISRO faced multiple setbacks in this testing journey. Starting from the 1970’s when ISRO started building technology for launching satellites, it faced three major setbacks :

August 10, 1979 – Launch of Satellite Launch Vehicle-3 (SLV-3) which was undertaken as an experiment

March 24, 1987 – Developmental launch of Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) which was carrying SROSS-1 satellite

September 20, 1993 – Developmental launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehice (PSLV) which carried IRS-IE satellite

All of these debut launches failed to take off (pun intended). In 1992, US imposed sanctions on India which prevented the acquisition of cryogenic technology from Russia. But, this didn’t hinder ISRO’s efforts develop cryogenic and rocket technologies ingenuously. The initial setbacks gave way to tremendous success. Between 1994 and 2017, PSLV has successfully launched a total of 226 satellites – out of which 180 are indigenous and 26 are foreign.

 

The GSLV program came with its share of challenges as well.

July 10, 2006 : With Insat-4C on board, the second operation flight of GSLV failed and fell into the sea.

April 15, 2010 : GSLV-D3 was a failure in its mission of placing Gsat-4 in the orbit.

December 25, 2010 : GSLV-F06 launch was unsuccessful

GSLV Mk III which is built at a cost of 300 crores is India’s gift to the SAARC nations. This launch has also paved the way for a manned mission. It has also proved the mettle of indigenous technology used to develop the CE 20 cryoegnic engine capable of propelling double the payload. Thanks to this momentous launch, India now finds itself in an elite club of countries which include USA, Russia, China, Japan and European Space Agency.

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