A slide for Dr. B N Suresh's presentation titled 'Indian Space Transportation System: Present Scenario and Future Directions' at TIFR-Mumbai, 19th June 2009 Credit:ISRO
In an earlier post Super Nova had reported on the preliminary concept of an Indian Lunar manned mission presented at IAC-2009. That concept envisaged the development of a crew launch vehicle and a Cargo Launch Vehicle with payload capabilities of 31 and 84 tons respectively to Low Earth Orbit.
The above image shows another concept Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) which would be able to haul 100 tons to LEO. What is interesting in this architecture is that no solid stages would be used on the vehicle. 4 SC460 Semi-cryogenic boosters with the SC800 first stage would generate the lift-off thrust for the vehicle. The C100 upper stage would probably serve as an Earth Departure stage (EDS) .
In addition to the HLV, the presentation slide also gives us an idea of the role that the GSLV-Mk III would play in lead up to Lunar manned mission and more importantly in the Indian Human Spaceflight Program.
As we know the present Human Spaceflight concept envisages the development of a crew capsule (Orbital Vehicle) which would be launched by the GSLV-Mk II. This capsule would probably not feature any docking system due to restriction in the payload capacity of GSLV-Mk II (around 5 tons).
Given the greater capability of Mk-III, ISRO plans to use the vehicle to launch a bigger, better equipped crew capsule which would be use to demonstrate rendezvous and docking in addition Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).