Launch Vehicle Mark-III (Previously Known as GSLV Mk III)

The Launch Vehicle Mark III, previously called the GSLV (stands for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) is a 3-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO. This launch vehicle is designed for carrying heavier satellites. The below article shares details on the objectives of developing LMV a.k.a. GSLV Mk III, its successful launches, payload capacities & engines.

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GSLV Mk III – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

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LMV or GSLV Mk III Objectives

LMV Mk -III has higher thrust than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the most successful launch vehicle of ISRO. The objective of developing GSLV Mk III are listed below.

  1. To launch heavier communication satellites
  2. To launch heavier multi-purpose satellites
  3. Future Interplanetary exploration
  4. To launch future crewed missions i.e. to carry humans to space.

LMV Mk III Vehicle Specifications

Height : 43.5 m
Vehicle Diameter : 4.0 m
Heat Shield (Payload Fairing) Diameter : 5.0 m
Number of Stages : 3
Lift Off Mass : 640 tonnes

LMV Mk III Technical Specification

Payload to GTO: 4,000 kg

LVM3 will be capable of placing the 4-tonne class satellites of the GSAT series into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits.

Payload to LEO (Low Earth Orbit): 8,000 kg

The powerful cryogenic stage of LVM3 enables it to place heavy payloads into Low Earth Orbits of 600 km altitude.

Cryogenic Upper Stage: C25

The C25 is powered by CE-20, India’s largest cryogenic engine, designed and developed by the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

Cryo Stage Height : 13.5 m
Cryo Stage Diameter : 4.0 m
Engine : CE-20
Fuel : 28 tonnes of LOX + LH2

Solid Rocket Boosters: S200

LVM3 uses two S200 solid rocket boosters to provide the huge amount of thrust required for lift-off. The S200 was developed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

Booster Height : 25 m
Booster Diameter : 3.2 m
Fuel : 205 tonnes of HTPB (nominal)

Core Stage: L110 Liquid Stage

The L110 liquid stage is powered by two Vikas engines designed and developed at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

Stage Height : 21 m
Stage Diameter : 4 m
Engine : 2 x Vikas
Fuel : 115 tonnes of UDMH + H2O

LMV Mk III Launches

So far GSLV Mk III has had many successful launches. The list is given below.

  1. CARE (Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Mission), launched in December 2014.
  2. GSAT-19 Mission, launched in June 2017.
  3. GSAT-29 Mission, launched in November 2018.
  4. Chandrayaan 2 Mission – It was a mission to the Moon. It was launched in 2019.
  5. OneWeb – First commercial launch of LVM3 for OneWeb, launched 36 OneWeb satellites, in October 2022.
  6. OneWeb – Second commercial launch OneWeb. Heaviest payload that is launched by an LVM3 and ISRO to date. Launched in March 2023.

LMV Mk III – Payload Capacity

  1. It is designed to carry satellites weighing 4 tons into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
  2. It can carry satellites weighing 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – at an altitude of 600 km.

LMV Mk III – Engines & Boosters

  1. 2 Vikas Engines powers the Core Stage. These engines are developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre of ISRO.
  2. S 200, 2 Solid Boosters are used to give the GSLV Mk III a huge thrust. S 200 was developed at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Trivandrum.
  3. The Upper stage is known as the cryogenic stage (C-25). This stage is powered by CE-20, the largest Cryogenic Engine built by ISRO. Cryogenic engines are a very complex technology that has been developed by very few countries.

GSLV Mk III – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Relevant Links

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper-III Strategy, Syllabus & Structure Topic-Wise General Studies Paper – 3 Questions for UPSC Mains
Previous Years Science & Technology Questions in UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 3 Science & Technology Notes For UPSC – Download PDF (Free)


Relevant Links

IRNSS-NAVIC: Navigation with Indian Constellation Aditya-L1 Mission: 1st Indian Mission to Study Sun
Cartosat 3 – Highest Resolution Satellite Launched by PSLV C-47 Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – 1st Interplanetary Space Mission of India
Gaganyaan Mission – ISRO’s Space Mission. Details, Timeline, Astronauts Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) – Specifications, Cost and Mission
BHUVAN – Geo Spatial Data (ISRO) Facts about the Chandrayaan-2 Mission: Objectives, Significance and Highlights
Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO] – Milestones, Objectives List of Indian Satellites – (1975 – 2020)
ISRO’s Project NETRA – An Early Warning System in Space NISAR – NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Mission
Astrosat – India’s Dedicated Satellite for Astronomy EOS – 01 Satellite | India’s Earth Observing Satellite by ISRO



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