ISRO is set for India's first human space flight. Here’s why we all should be proud of it

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing for India’s first launch vehicle that could put humans in space. The launch vehicle-GSLV Mark III- was critical for the flight and the space centre has gone strength to strength to build it.

The third generation geostationary launch vehicle (GSLV) had several constraints at Sriharikota facility due to space, components, etc which would have been expensive.

ET reported the GSLV Mark III was a complex vehicle and some of its critical technologies had to be developed from scratch. Isro's cryogenic engine development had hit hurdles and got delayed beyond reasonable measure.

However, as they say nothing is impossible, ISRO is now readying the vehicle for its first full flight at the end of this month, roughly three weeks after another flight of the current generation GSLV on May 5.

It has used new ideas in its design, manufacturing and this would be the first flight of GSLV III using India's fully-indigenous cryogenic engine.


"This vehicle is going to be at the frontier for ISRO. It can be used for human flight as well,” G Ayyappan, Mark III project director, told ET.

All of these combine to make it one of the most critical flights in ISRO’s history.

The current f light of GSLV III is a developmental f light. The successful flight of GSLV Mark II in 2014 was a major milestone for ISRO, in which it used India's cryogenic engine, which was a reengineered version of the Russian cryogenic engines.

ET reported for the cryogenic engine, ISRO had to create new high altitude test facilities at Mahendragiri near Thiruvananthapuram and it tested the full engine in April 2015 for 635 seconds, and again in June 2015 for 800 seconds, well beyond the duration of its burning during a real flight.

"We had doubts about the configuration. So we decided to have an atmospheric test f light with a passive cryogenic engine,” K Radhakrishnan, former chairman of Isro, told ET.

GSLV Mark III has a core liquid stage with twin engines, another - smaller - novelty in design.