Successful Launch of GSLV-MK-III D2 carrying GSAT-29 Satellite is a Historic Day for ISRO

India’s GSAT-29 Communication Satellite, the heaviest rocket ever launched from the Indian soil, was successfully launched by the second developmental flight of GSLV MkIII-D2 (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MarkIII) on Wednesday 14 November 2018 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

GSAT-29 launch will help to bridge the digital divide.

GSAT-29 satellite is intended to serve as a test bed for several new technologies. It is specifically designed to cater to communication requirements of users from remote areas of the country. The mission life is about 10 years. GSLV-MkIII is the fifth generation launch vehicle developed by ISRO and is designed to place satellites of upto 4000 kg in GTO. Chandrayaan-2 and Gaganyaan missions will be launched by this heavy-lifter.

  • GSLV MkIII-D2 lifted off from the Second Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR at 17:08 hours (IST), carrying the 3423-kg GSAT-29 satellite.
  • The vehicle injected the satellite into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) as planned, about 17 minutes after the launch.
  • ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan has assumed the control of the satellite after injection.
  • In the coming days, three orbit raising manoeuvers will be executed to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at its designated location.
  • GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • Two massive boosters with solid propellant constitute the first stage, the core with liquid propellant form the second stage and the cryogenic engine completes the final stage.
  • GSAT-29 is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies.
  • Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.
  • In addition, the Q/V-Band communication payload on-board is intended to demonstrate the future high throughput satellite system technologies.
  • Geo High Resolution Camera will carry out high resolution imaging.
  • Optical Communication Payload will demonstrate data transmission at a very high rate through optical communication link.
  • This is the 67th launch from Sriharikota and the GSAT-29 is the 33rd communications satellite made by India.

ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan after the successful launch said: “India has achieved significant milestone with our heaviest launcher lifting off the heaviest satellite from the Indian soil. The launch vehicle has precisely placed the satellite in its intended orbit. I congratulate entire ISRO team for this achievement.” Sivan added that while the launch vehicle’s first operational mission was going to be “none other than Chandrayaan” in January 2019, “this fantastic vehicle is going to carry humans to space in three years from now.

Mission Director B Jayakumar termed the launch was, a “grand success”. In its head, the ₹300-crore 640-tonne big-boy carried the 3.4-tonne GSAT-29, a telecommunications satellite.

The success of GSLV MkIII-D2 marks an important milestone in Indian space programme towards achieving self-reliance in launching heavier satellites. The success of this flight also signifies the completion of the experimental phase of GSLV Mark III.

The first successful mission of GSLV Mark III was an experimental suborbital flight in 2014. Subsequently, GSLV Mark III-D1 launched GSAT-19, a high throughput communication satellite, with a lift-off mass of 3150 kg, into GTO on June 5, 2017.


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