The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) broke a record for the country on Monday after successfully launching the largest rocket India has ever built for themselves.
The rocket launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India, at approximately 7:58 A.M. EDT and was reportedly carrying a 6,900-pound communications satellite payload that would join several others in orbit around the Earth.
Image Credit: AFP
Dubbed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, the massive rocket stands over 141 feet in height and weighs more than 700 tons. It has the thrust capacity to carry payloads weighing as much as 3.3 tons into space, which can be a game-changer for India.
Although GSLV Mark III is certainly a large rocket, it’s not the largest rocket ever made by any space agency. Instead, NASA’s Saturn V rocket still holds that record and was approximately four times larger than India’s newfangled huge rocket.
The motivation behind developing the massive rocket, which India compares to the weight of five jumbo jets, was to reduce Indian dependence on other countries for launching heavier satellites and equipment into space.
Moreover, GSLV Mark III has the potential to mark the beginning of human space travel by Indian astronauts, which would be a first for the country.
India’s footprint in space is currently quite limited, but the new rocket poses a chance for the country to change that and to join other leading nations, like the United States, Russia, and China, in space exploration.
It should be interesting to see what India makes of its new space travel capabilities in the near future. In the meantime, you can watch the full launch video below:
Source: Washington Post