ISRO now readying GSLV-Mk III for human space flight: Kasturirangan
ISRO is in the process of further improving the capability of its GSLV-Mk III so that it can use this heaviest rocket for human space flight mission once government approval comes, a top scientist said here.
GSLV-Mk III is really the vehicle that will be the workhorse in the coming years for primarily launching geo-synchronous missions and also very heavy spacecraft in near-earth missions, K Kasturirangan, former chief of ISRO, said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) earlier this week successfully launched from the Sriharikota spaceport, the first developmental flight of GSLV-MK III, capable of launching four-ton class satellites. "ISRO is in the process of further improving the capability of this vehicle. It could go up to a ten-ton kind of capability," said Kasturirangan.
It was during his tenure as ISRO Chairman the GSLV-Mk III was configured and the programme secured approval by the Space Commission in the early part of the previous decade. "So, this will be a level of vehicle which India will use for most of the requirements of geo-synchronous missions. It can take to up to four tons and, hopefully with improvements in some of the areas, one can go even beyond four tons," he said.
"With this we want to build our communication satellites. So, it's very tailored for future communication satellites to be launched by India. We will not have to depend on any other foreign launch agency," according to him. Kasturirangan said ISRO is trying to do a "man-rating sort of thing" (or human rating), which is a certification of a spacecraft or launch vehicle as worthy of transporting humans. So as and when there is a need and the country takes a decision on going for human space flight, it would have an "autonomous ability" to access the space through this vehicle in those missions, he said.