ISRO gears up for GSLV Mk-III launch in December 2016.ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for the countdown for the much-awaited launch of GSLV Mark-III launch in December end.

ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar said on Wednesday that "ISRO's next mission is the launch of GSLV-Mk III by Dec end and its integration is getting complete," the Times of India reported.

The GSLV-Mk III launch is significant as it will be powered by an indigenous cryogenic engine. The rockets will be carrying heavy 3.2-tonne GSAT-19E communication satellite. It employed advanced spacecraft technologies, including bus subsystem experiments in Electrical propulsion System, indigenous Li-ion battery, indigenous Bus bars for power distribution, etc., ISRO said on its website.

The lift-off will happen from Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Kiran Kumar revealed that they have a packed calendar.

He said ISRO will launch PSLV-XL in January, and had previously confirmed that SAARC satellite would be launched in March 2017, after being postponed from December.

He also declined to comment on the possibility of launching 82 satellites in one launch on PSLV-XL. PSLV rockets are dubbed as ISRO's workhorse.

K Sivan, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) confirmed that ISRO has completed the Chandrayaan-2 moon mission landing rover tests and it has been set for 2017 launch. Chandrayaan-2 will feature orbiter, lander and rover.

Here is what we know about the indigenous cryogenic engine

  • GSLV projects are designed to carry heavy satellites into Geosynchronous orbit.
  • Initially, India used Russian cryogenic rockets to fuel GSLV project
  • GSLV Mk-III's development started early-2000s.
  • The GSLV Mk. III launch vehicle is 43.4m tall.
  • It consists of a large Core Stage and uses liquid propellants with two Solid Rocket Boosters.
  • Above the core is a larger version of Cryogenic Upper Stage, powered by the most powerful cryogenic engine ISRO has built.