The Space Commission has given approval to Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to develop a semi-croygenic engine, which will increase the lifting capability of its GSLV Mk III rocket by one tonne.
Talking to TOI about the new project, Isro chairman K Sivan said, “After a presentation before the Space Commission, Isro has got the approval for developing the semi-cryogenic rocket stage. The deadline to develop this stage is 29 months. Once the stage is ready, the carrying capability of GSLV Mk III will increase from the existing four tonnes to five tonnes.”
Explaining the project, Sivan said, “A GSLV Mk III rocket comprises two strap-on boosters (to provide thrust during a launch), middle stage that carries liquid fuel nitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, and the second stage, which consists of a cryogenic engine. Once the semicryogenic stage is developed, we will simply replace the middle liquid fuel stage with it. The new stage is likely to be an exact fit and the rocket will look like the earlier one from outside.”
He said, “The first launch of Isro’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk III DI last year carried 3.1 tonne weight. The second launch of Mk III D2, scheduled in July this year and which will carry Gsat-29 satellite, will have the load capability of 3.7 tonnes. We can easily raise the weight up to 4 tonne. With the semicryogenic stage, the same rocket will be able to carry the load up to five tonne. With the increased capability, we don’t have to depend on foreign spaceports to launch our satellites weighing over 5 tonnes.”
Sivan said, “Isro’s satellites will now track the production of 25 crops from earlier eight crops. The satellite forecast about the crop acreage and production helps farmers and the government plan better management of the yield.”
Isro has over a dozen remote-sensing satellites like Cartosat, Resourcesat and Risat-1 for agriculture forecast and other social welfare applications. However, the demand for such applications in recent times has increased and therefore the space agency is planning to launch six more satellites dedicated to land and water, cartography, oceanography and environment.