New Delhi: Call it ‘Bahubali’ or ‘Fat Boy’, those were the two nicknames given to India’s largest and the most powerful rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) that is set to launch from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on July 15.
The historic flight and its passenger Chandrayan-II is being readied at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota for an early morning launch at 2:51 AM on Monday, an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told news agency IANS.
The countdown for the same is scheduled at 6:51 AM on Sunday, July 14.
The GSLV Mk-III will blast off with an ambitious dream of landing a rover on the Moon’s south polar region, making India the fourth nation to ride on the Moon surface after the US, Russia and China.
What’s with the name?
The GSLV Mk-III rocket that weighs 640 tonnes was nicknamed as ‘Fat Boy’ by ISRO scientists, however, the Telugu media soon began referring to it as ‘Bahubali’ after the muscular hero of the successful film with the same title.
Just like the hero lifts a heavy Lingam in the film, the rocket will carry the 3.8-tonne Chandrayaan-II spacecraft.
The Bahubali rocket is a three-stage rocket with a solid strap-on for an initial thrust into Earth’s atmosphere, a liquid core booster which is the primary source of thrust, and a cryogenic engine for the last minute thrust after the strap-on and core booster detach from the rocket.’
According to the ISRO, the Chandrayaan-II will be injected into an Earth parking 170×40400 km orbit. The Chandrayaan-II consists of three segments – the Orbiter, the lander Vikram and rover Pragyaan.
On the day of landing, the lander Vikram, named after space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai, will separate from the Orbiter and then perform a series of complex manoeuvres comprising rough braking and fine braking.
On the other hand, the rover Pragyaan will steal the show as it will explore the lunar surface up to 500 metres. The rover mission will last for one lunar day, equivalent to 14 earth days.
India launched its first Moon mission Chandrayaan-I in October 2008 using its light rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). With the launch of the second mission, ISRO intends to work towards further discoveries of the Moon’s origins.
With IANS inputs