The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully carried out the second test of the S-200 rocket booster early this month. The massive booster will form the strap-on stage for the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III's (GSLV Mk-III) maiden flight scheduled for 2012-13.
The strap-on S-200 rocket booster is stated to be the biggest in Asia and the third largest in the world, smaller than the ones that put NASA's shuttle into space and Arianespace's Ariane-5 rocket.
The strap-on stage provides an initial boost to the rocket as vehicle load is the heaviest at the take-off stage and the force of gravity is the maximum.
The GSLV Mk-III, which is now in an advanced stage of development, will have two strap-on boosters fixed to the rocket. The huge rocket will take communication satellites of the four tonnes class into orbit.
The current version of the GSLV can orbit communication satellites of two tonnes weight.
The GSLV Mk-III's operationalization will drastically reduce ISRO's dependence on Arianespace to orbit its four-ton class of communication satellites.