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  • Writer's pictureNikhil Gangamkote

GSLV: A Titan of Innovation in Indian Space Exploration

The GSLV-F12/NVS-01 mission refers to the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for launching the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) satellite system. The GSLV-F12 is the variant of the GSLV used for this mission, and NVS-01 is the first satellite in the NavIC constellation.

The GSLV-F12/NVS-01 mission utilizes a multi-stage propulsion system to deliver the satellite into its intended orbit. Let's explore the propulsion system in detail:

The GSLV-F12 is equipped with two S139 solid rocket boosters as the first stage. Each booster has a solid propellant grain and provides high-thrust propulsion during the initial phase of the launch.

These boosters burn for approximately 110 seconds and deliver a combined thrust of around 680 tons.

The GSLV-F12 also employs two Liquid Strap-on Boosters (LSOM) as the second stage. These boosters use a liquid propellant combination of UH25 (a mixture of Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine, or UDMH, and Hydrazine) as fuel and Nitrogen Tetroxide (N2O4) as oxidizer.

The LSOMs enhance the vehicle's performance by providing additional thrust. Each LSOM has a twin engine configuration and burns for approximately 150 seconds.

The third stage of the GSLV-F12 is known as the Core Stage or L110 stage. It features a single engine that utilizes liquid propellant.

The engine is called the Vikas engine and runs on a combination of UH25 fuel and N2O4 oxidizer. The Vikas engine provides thrust for approximately 200 seconds and helps propel the rocket to higher altitudes.

The fourth and final stage of the GSLV-F12 is the Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). It uses liquid cryogenic propellants, specifically Liquid Oxygen (LOX) as oxidizer and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as fuel.

The CUS is powered by a cryogenic engine called the CE-7.5, which is optimized for operating in space's vacuum conditions. The CUS burns for approximately 750 seconds and provides the necessary thrust to deliver the NVS-01 satellite into its geosynchronous orbit.

The combination of these stages and propulsion systems allows the GSLV-F12/NVS-01 mission to successfully place the NavIC satellite into orbit, enabling India to enhance its navigation and positioning capabilities.

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