New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists are developing next generation rockets capable of carrying more astronauts, and orbiting heavier satellites. Senior scientists at the country's space agency said the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III) will ultimately make the country self-sufficient in launching the entire range of satellites.
The massive rocket is expected to be launched sometime over the next three years,
"If everything goes through successfully, we can attempt a launch by 2011 beginning," GLSV Mk III project director N Narayan Moorthy informed the media here.
Later this year scientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram will carry out testing of all engines, including an indigenously developed cryogenic one.
According to ISRO scientists, the GSLV Mk III will enable them to send "heavier and more meaningful" probes to Mars and also help send more astronauts on a single mission. "In case we use the Mark III, we can send three persons instead of two by the regular GSLV," an ISRO scientist said.
ISRO is planning to use the current version of the GSLV in the human space flight it plans to undertake in 2015. The GSLV is capable of launching 2.5-tonne satellites.
So far, ISRO has been utilizing European Space Agency launchers to put its heavier communications satellites in orbit.