An Indian GSLV Mk.II rocket has launched the GSAT-7A spacecraft from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center. The launch took place at 10:40 UTC on Wednesday.
This was the 13th flight for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) across its Mark I, II and III variants, Wednesday’s launch was conducted by the ISRO – the Indian Space Agency.
First flown in April 2001, the GSLV had something of a troubled history in its early career. One reached a lower-than-planned orbit which was corrected at the expense of several years’ operational life for its payload, one reached an unusable low orbit that could not be corrected and three failed to achieve orbit altogether.
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However, recent launches have been successful, pointing to increased reliability.
The GSLV’s Mark I and II configurations differ in that the Mark I uses a third stage powered by a Russian-built engine, while the Mark II introduces a replacement using Indian components.
The GSLV tasked with this launch was a Mark II vehicle, featuring India’s indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS) in place of the Russian-engined version used on the Mark I. This ...