The successful launch of the 3-stageGeosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), equipped with a Russian supplied cryogenic upper engine stage, took place last month from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota island on India’s east coast.

The GSLV first stage is a solid propellant core motor with 4 liquid propellant strap-on motors strung around it, while the second stage liquid fuel and the upper stage uses a cryogenic engine fuelled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

The launch put the INSAT-4CR communications satellite into orbit and follows the failure of a GSLV mission in July 2006, which was traced to a lack of thrust in one of the 4 strap-on liquid propellant stages.

The chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) described as ‘excellent’ the performance of the recently launched GSLV, which was developed by ISRO to end India’s dependence on procured launch vehicles for orbiting its INSAT class of domestic satellites.