Thursday, November 5, 2009
GSLV or GSLV Mk-III ??
Well, anybody who is through follower of the Indian Space Program would know that ISRO plans to use the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) as the launch vehicle for the OV (Orbital Vehicle). Yes, ISRO has previously expressed it's interest in using the GSLV Mk-III as crew launch vehicle in the future. But, a new article on Flightglobal by Rob Coppinger has put our perspective of Indian Human Spaceflight Program into an abyss.
The article quotes the outgoing Chairman of ISRO, Madhavan Nair, as saying that India would be using it's launch vehicle-in-development, the GSLV Mk-III, as launch vehicle for the manned capsule. What's astounding is that, it completely derails our understanding on the Indian Human Spaceflight Program.
In February of this year, prior to the start of Aero India-09, there were has series of seminars held by ISRO in which the-then Chairman of ISRO, Madhavan Nair, publicized the concept design of the Orbital Vehicle(OV) and had since repeatedly reiterated that the fact that the present version of the GSLV would be used to launch the crew capsule.
Yet, according to new article, ISRO has designated(or re-designated) the Mk-III as the launcher for the OV. According to the previous plan, Mk-III would eventually have been man-rated and would have launched an upgraded/uprated version of the basic orbital vehicle concept with an orbital module and docking capabilities.
So, we can conclude saying that either the article has mixed up facts or that ISRO has actually changed the launcher for OV to Mk-III. If the latter were to be true (which I truly doubt), we can expect some major delays and budget shortcomings in the schedule of the HSF.