The Indian Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket has had a troubled history as India works to grow its own domestic cryogenic rocket expertise — by no means a simple feat. But today it flew straight and true to place its commsat payload into the desired geosynchronous transfer orbit. The GSLV project directory, K. Sivan, said “Some used to call the GSLV the naughty boy of ISRO. The naughty boy has become obedient.”
In many ways, this launch is as important as Manglayaan was for India’s credibility as a commercial launch provider. PSLV has been a solid workhorse, but relatively underpowered; GSLV provides India’s gateway into the geosynchronous market, and this flight is an important step forward.
Congratulations to ISRO and the Indian nation!