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ISRO set to launch rocket capable of manned missions

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is gearing up for the launch of indigenously built Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk-III), the heaviest rocket ever made India, which is capable of carrying out manned missions. Already a major player in the field, the launch of GSLV Mk III could push India into the forefront of the multi-million dollar launch market. The maiden launch of the rocket will take place next week from the launch pad at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. According to ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar, the organization is leaving no stones unturned to ensure that the rocket succeeds in its maiden launch.

According to him, the success of GSLV Mk III could make India s manned mission to space a reality within a decade as the rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tons in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) which is more than enough for a crew module.  So far only Russia, US and China have had a successful human space flight programme.

GSLV Mk III is capable of carrying the four ton class of communication satellites so far put to space by the French Ariane-5 rocket launched from Kouru in South America. 

India currently has two operational rockets- Polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that can carry satellites of 1.5 tons into space and geo synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark II which is capable of carrying 2 ton class of satellites. GSLV Mk III is 1.5 times heavier than GSLV Mk II and twice heavier than PSLV.

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