India successfully launched its latest generation vehicle GSLV Mk III, also carrying the ‘Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE)’ from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.

Around 730 seconds after it lifted off at 9.30 AM from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, the crew module–CARE–splashed down into the Bay of Bengal, after separating from the LVM3-X rocket with active S200 and L110 propulsion stages.

The two-stage rocket is designed to place around 10 tonnes of payload into low earth orbit or four tonnes to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self-reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg. It would also enhance India’s capability to be a competitive player in the multi-million dollar commercial launch market.

The 630-tonne GSLV-Mk III carried the 3.65 tonne crew module even as the national space agency is equipping itself for its plan of sending astronauts into space eventually.

The Indian government has not approved any human mission to space presently. Realisation of 42.4 metre tall GSLV Mk-III would help ISRO place heavier satellites into orbit.

Three levels of parachutes specially designed by Agra- based DRDO lab Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment helped the crew module descend safely into the sea, about 180 kms from Indira Point, the southern tip of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.