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India's GSLV Triumphs: INSAT-3DS Launch Marks Major Milestone Amidst Historic Journey

In a recent milestone event, India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), affectionately nicknamed the "naughty boy" for its historical inconsistencies, achieved a significant feat by successfully launching the INSAT-3DS weather satellite. The launch, designated GSLV-F14, marked the Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) 93rd mission and its second mission of the year.


This launch carried immense importance for the GSLV, which has faced scrutiny due to past performance issues. However, on February 17, 2024, at precisely 5:35 PM IST, the GSLV roared to life, flawlessly delivering the 2,274-kg INSAT-3DS into its designated orbit. This mission, the 16th for the GSLV and its 10th employing the indigenous cryogenic engine, showcased India's strides in space technology.


ISRO chairman S. Somanth expressed elation at the successful completion of the GSLV-F14 mission during a post-launch address, highlighting the achievement and the spacecraft's placement into a highly satisfactory orbit.


The moniker "naughty boy" refers to the GSLV rocket's inconsistent performance history, characterized by both successful launches and failures. Despite this, the recent GSLV launch, carrying the INSAT-3DS satellite, demonstrated impeccable performance, positioning the satellite for operational use.


The INSAT-3DS satellite, now operational, will collect weather data for the next decade, enhancing India's weather forecasting and disaster management capabilities.


GSLV's journey has been a mix of triumphs and challenges, earning it the "naughty boy" nickname. From initial launches fraught with difficulties to recent successes, the GSLV has evolved significantly:


During its early years from 2001 to 2004, the GSLV faced a mix of successes and challenges. While some launches, like GSLV-D2 in December 2001, achieved significant milestones, others encountered issues, such as GSLV-E1 in May 2003.


Between 2005 and 2014, the GSLV experienced a series of mixed outcomes. Notable successes, like GSLV-D3 in December 2009, were interspersed with failures like GSLV-F05 in April 2010.


In recent years, the GSLV has demonstrated improved performance, as seen in successful launches like GSLV-Mk III-D1 in November 2018.


The GSLV-F14 launch also underscores India's collaboration with NASA on the NISAR mission, aimed at Earth observation using synthetic aperture radar technology. This joint endeavor holds significant implications for environmental monitoring and disaster preparedness.

Furthermore, the INSAT-3DS satellite carries India's first dedicated Search and Rescue (SAR) transponder, highlighting ISRO's commitment to humanitarian efforts.


Despite past challenges, the GSLV's recent success signifies advancements in domestic technology and India's growing prowess in space exploration. The mission's achievements pave the way for future endeavors like Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan, affirming India's space ambitions on the global stage.


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