The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to launch a carrier rocket capable of lifting heavy satellites in May, ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said on Wednesday.
The game-changer rocket that will be launched next month has been named as GSLV-Mk III-D1. The ISRO recognizes the contributions of the industry in meeting the demands of national needs of the space systems and also says, "The participation of the industry in the realization of space systems such as spacecraft, launch vehicles, establishment and operations of ground systems and facilities and implementation of application programs have been steadily growing". According to the official information, the launcher will be able to carry payload of up to 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds) to the Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and up to 8,000 kilograms to Law Earth Orbit (LEO). The second developmental flight could come within a year.
The space agency is looking to form a joint venture with an industry consortium (to build polar satellite launch vehicle or PSLV), with the first launch planned for 2020-21 under this proposed entity.
The vehicle now used by ISRO for domestic launches to carry payload to the orbit is the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which can launch small size satellites (up to 1,425 kilograms) to GTO, as well as up to 3,800 kilograms to LEO.