`LVM3` or `GSLV Mark 3` Takes Off on Its Debut Commercial Mission
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scripted history when it launched its heaviest rocket, Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3 or GSLV Mark 3) which took off on its debut commercial mission on October 23. The rocket carrying 36 satellites was launched from the second launch pad (SLP) of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota as part of the space agency’s OneWeb India-1 mission. It will mark the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the NewSpace India Limited's (NSIL) entry into the global commercial launch service market.
OneWeb will have 462 satellites in its network after this 14th launch. More than 70% of the 648 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites that will be used to deliver high-speed, low-latency communication are represented by this launch. 36 satellites totaling 5,796 kg or 5.7 tonnes were carried by the 43.5 m long, 644 tonne LVM3. LVM3 has entered the market for international commercial launch services with this launch. The primary purpose of this medium-lift launch vehicle is to place communication satellites into geostationary orbit. A cryogenic stage, a liquid propellant core stage, and two solid motor strap-ons make up the three stages of the LVM3 rocket. In January 2023, OneWeb intends to place another batch of 36 satellites into orbit. Considering that LVM3 is entering the market for international commercial launch services, ISRO sees this as a historic turning point.
With just four more launches, OneWeb will activate global coverage in 2023, and its connectivity solutions are now active in regions north of 50 degrees latitude. OneWeb's partnership with NSIL and ISRO demonstrates its dedication to providing connectivity across all of India by 2023. From Ladakh to Kanyakumari, Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh, OneWeb will offer safe solutions not just to enterprises but also to cities, villages, municipalities, and schools, including those in the nation's most distant areas.
The development of the GSLV Mk III and the cryogenic upper stage, which ISRO has been working to create in an effort to lessen reliance on the already in use Russian design, started in the early 2000s. The first test flight of the GSLV MkIII was delayed because the upper stage failed to ignite on successive GSLV MkII flights. Originally scheduled for the early 2010s, the rocket's first experimental flight (also known as a developmental or test flight) was postponed to make room for the Mars Orbiter Mission, which lifted off in 2013. In 2010, 2011, and 2015, the rocket and its boosters underwent static fire tests. The human-rated version of the rocket, which is being developed for the Gaganyaan programme, also underwent static fire tests this year. The cryogenic top stage underwent successful testing in 2017. Chandrayaan 2 was the launch vehicle's first operational flight, which took place on July 22, 2019. The 4-ton payload carried on this trip was the heaviest ISRO had ever placed into orbit.
The size of a launch vehicle is determined by the location in space to which it is travelling, the type of fuel being utilised (solid, liquid, cryogenic, or a mix), and the amount of the payload. The choice of any two of the other factors drastically restricts the flexibility of the third variable, a circumstance known as the "tyranny of the rocket equation" in the space industry. Unsurprisingly, the majority of a rocket's energy is used up getting to the lower earth orbit. This is due to the fact that gravity is strongest in this location. Further space travel is considerably smoother and uses a lot less energy. The gravity of the target body must also be considered if a space mission is aimed towards the Moon, Mars, or any other celestial body. Comparatively to simply achieving an orbit in space to deposit a satellite, more energy would be required to travel to such a location. The effectiveness of the fuel being used is the other factor limiting the rocket's flight. As rocket fuels, several substances are employed. They exert varying thrusts. In order to maximise performance, the majority of current rockets power the various phases of the flight with different sets of fuels. The LMV3, for instance, features a liquid stage, a cryogenic stage, and solid fuel in the boosters that contribute thrust during takeoff.
Rockets would need to carry more cargo into orbit as plans called for building a permanent base on the Moon and delivering people to Mars and beyond. However, the capacity of rockets is severely constrained. The objectives of the upcoming missions can be accomplished via two separate engineering advancements. The rockets are able to travel several distances while carrying pieces of bigger structures that can be assembled in space. This method was used to build the International Space Station and several other comparable constructions. The opportunity to use resources already present on the Moon and Mars is the other. In fact, examining this possibility is the main goal of all upcoming Moon missions. A research by the Indian Space Association and Ernst & Young projects that by 2025, India's space economy will have generated around $13 billion (Rs. 1.07 lakh crore) in income. By 2025, it is anticipated that the markets for ground services will reach $4 billion and satellite services will reach $5 billion. In the following three years, satellite and launch services are expected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate, at 13%. India's commercial space services are undoubtedly about to undergo a significant transformation.