Chennai: Isro has postponed its heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III’s launch due to pending tests to be conducted on the vehicle. Now, the rocket will either be launched in March or April after completing the tests.
Earlier, the space organisation tentatively planned to launch it on January 20. The GSLV Mk-III rocket will launch the 3.2 tonne GSAT-19 satellite.
“Subsequently, some more tests are planned for the vehicle and the stage level tests also got delayed. Now, these tests will be conducted this month. If any issues arise during the tests we will correct them,” K. Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram told Deccan Chronicle.
The high altitude test for GSLV Mk-III’s large cryogenic engine CE-20 was conducted in December. Isro also plans to send the Saarc satellite with GSLV Mk-II rocket in March.
“We are planning to launch both the GSLV Mk-III and GSLV Mk-II rockets in March and April. Maybe one will be launched in March and another one in April depending on the availability of the launch pad,” he said.
In the next mission, Isro is aiming to launch the record number of 103 satellites. “The PSLV-C37 rocket will launch 103 micro-small satellites during the second week of February,” Mr Sivan said.
The highest number of satellites launched in a single mission is 37 satellites, a record set by Russia in 2014. The US space agency Nasa has launched 29 satellites in a single mission.