Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) Mission Readiness Review (MRR) team and the Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) have given the go-ahead for the launch of GSLV-D5 on January 5, 2014. The 29-hour countdown will commence at 11 hrs (IST) on January 4. The spacecraft will be carrying advanced communication satellites.
“Things are progressing well,” said Isro Chairman K Radhakrishnan. Clearance by MRR and LAB came on Saturday, with the launch time fixed at 16:18 hours (IST) on January 5, 2014. The vehicle was moved from the vehicle assembly building to the umbilical tower (the launch pad) in the morning of December 28.
It is after three continuous failures that GSLV (geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle) is getting ready for its new mission. Isro, which has successfully concluded the crucial stages of Mars Orbiter Mission, is confident the GSLV launch will be successful.
GSLV-D5’s mission would be to carry the advanced communication satellite GSAT-14 in orbit. The GSAT-14 will be used for telecasting and telecommunication purposes. Its mission life is 12 years.
The vehicle carries Indigenous cryogenic engine, which will be used for the second time in the GSLV. It was developed by Isro’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. The first flight which used Indian-made cryogenic stage had failed in April 2010.
This would be the eighth flight of GSLV and the second flight of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS) developed by the LPSC.
It may be noted that the GSLV-D5 was scheduled for launch at 16.50 hrs on August 19, 2013 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. However, it was called off at the last minute after a leak was found, during the pre-launch pressurisation process, in the fuel system.
The GSLV was first launched with GSAT-1 on April 18, 2001, which was a successful mission.
Out of the seven GSLV launches earlier, three were unsuccessful. The GSLV-F02 launched with INSAT-4C on July 10, 2006; GSLV-D3 launched with GSAT-4 on April 15, 2010; and, GSLV-F06 launched with GSAT-5P on December 25, 2010 were unsuccessful, according to the Isro website.
In the first mission, the GSLV-D1, using a Russian cryo engine, underperformed and in 2007, in the GSLV-F04 mission, one strap-on control failed though both the missions were successful.