23 Nov 2018

GSLV Mk III3 min read

Manifest Pedagogy

UPSC concentrates on some big events of ISRO. The questions on those events would appear subsequently. Eg: MoM on 2014, Peace Prize to ISRO in 2015, IRNSS in 2017 etc. Hence, GSLV Mk-III, payloads of it in the past like GSAT-19 and GSAT-29, and the future payloads like Chandrayaan-2 and Gaganyaan become focal areas.

In news

GSAT-29 launch successful: ISRO takes another step closer to country’s first manned mission

In syllabus

  1. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  2. Achievements of Indians in science & technology.
  3. Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  4. Awareness in the fields of Space

Static dimensions

  1. GSLV and GSLV Mk-III
  2. GSAT 29
  3. Cryogenic engine

Current dimensions

  1. India’s space capabilities
  2. Indigenization of technologies
  3. Gaganyaan


GSLV Mk-III Specifications:

  • It is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle.
  • It has 3 stages:
  • With Two solid strap-ons (S200)
  • With a core liquid booster (2 Vikas L110 engines)
  • A cryogenic upper stage (C25) – powered by CE-20, India’s largest cryogenic engine.
  • It is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of GSLV Mk II.

Payload GSAT-29:

  • GSAT-29 is a multi-beam, multiband communication satellite of India.
  • This is the heaviest satellite launched from India.
  • It carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders.
  • It will bridge the digital divide of users including those in Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern regions of India.
  • It also carries Geo-stationary High Resolution Camera.
  • For the first time an optical communication payload is being used for data transmission.

GSLV Mk III Launches till Date


SN Title Launch Date Payload
3 GSLV Mk III-D2 / GSAT-29 Mission Nov 14, 2018 GSAT-29
2 GSLV Mk III-D1 / GSAT-19 Mission Jun 05, 2017 GSAT-19
1 LVM-3 / CARE Mission Dec 18, 2014 Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE)


Launches in the future:

Date Payload Orbit
3 January 2019 Chandrayaan-2 GEO
December 2021  Gaganyaan crewed orbiter(Indian Human Spaceflight Programme) LEO


Cryogenic engine

A Cryogenic rocket stage is more efficient and provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant rocket stages. Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving it a substantial payload advantage. 

However, cryogenic stage is technically a very complex system compared to solid or earth-storable liquid propellant stages due to its use of propellants at extremely low temperatures and the associated thermal and structural problems. 

Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) from the respective tanks are fed by individual booster pumps to the main turbo pump to ensure a high flow rate of propellants into the combustion chamber.

Oxygen liquefies at -183 ˚C and Hydrogen at -253 ˚C. The propellants, at these low temperatures are to be pumped using turbo pumps running at around 40,000 rpm.

ISRO’s Cryogenic Upper Stage Project (CUSP) envisaged the design and development of the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage to replace the stage procured from Russia and used in GSLV flights.


  • Gaganyaan is a fully autonomous spacecraft designed to carry a 3-member crew to orbit and safely return to the Earth after a mission duration of few orbits and up to seven days.
  • The capsule is similar to the Soyuz-shaped re-entry spacecraft. The space capsule will have life support and environmental control systems.
  • It will be equipped with emergency mission abort and emergency escape that can be done at the first stage or second stage of the rocket burn.

Test yourself: Mould your thoughts 

GSLV Mk-III with indigenized upper stage cryogenic engine is a remarkable achievement of ISRO. Comment. Will this lead India to unexplored space endeavours?  

3 Responses

  1. I just want to mention I am very new to blogging and really liked your blog site. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You actually have wonderful article content. Thanks for sharing your blog.

  2. Dr.sooguresh G

    Nice article sir….expecting more articles from different sections of current affairs…. language you are using is very clear,simple and straight to the points without any ambiguity..
    Thanks sir…have a nice day

  3. Dr.sooguresh G

    Nice article sir….expecting more articles from different sections of current affairs…. language you are using is very clear,simple and straight to the points without any ambiguity..
    Thanks sir…have a nice day

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This