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GSLV Mark III takes to the skies in test flight
The first experimental flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III registered success as it lifted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on 21 July 2015, taking India much closer to realising the dream of manned space flight.
The mission control centre erupted in smiles and claps and the scientists hugged each other, as the GSLV Mark III moved a step closer to its first development flight with the functional C25 cryogenic stage.
Also known as LVM3/CARE, the suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle’s performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and this carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage.
The vehicle, exactly five-and-a-half minutes after take-off, carried its payload — the 3,775-kg crew-module atmospheric re-entry experiment (CARE) — to the intended height of 126 km. Two massive S-200 solid strap-on boosters, each carrying 207 tonnes of solid propellants, ignited at lift-off and separated 153.5 seconds later. The L110 liquid stage ignited 120 seconds after lift-off.