Space Launch Report:  LVM3 (GSLV Mk 3)
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gslvmk3a.jpg (25388 bytes)LVM3 (GSLV Mk 3)

Vehicle Configurations

Vehicle Components

GSLV Flight Record

GSLV Mk 3 Pathfinder at Sriharikota in 2012

LVM3 (GSLV Mk 3) is a new launch vehicle designed by India's Space Research Organization's (ISRO) to lift 4-5 tonne satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).  Although it shares the "Geosynchronous Space Launch Vehicle" designation with ISRO's GSLV and GSLV Mk 2 rockets, GSLV Mk 3 is an all new design that will be India's most-powerful orbital launcher.  It may also serve as a crew launch vehicle for India in the future.

The new rocket is 42.4 meters tall, sports a 5 meter diameter payload fairing, and weighs up to 629 tonnes at liftoff.  GSLV Mk 3 is a three-stage rocket that lifts off on the thrust produced by a pair of S-200 solid propellant motors that are each loaded with about 200 tonnes of propellant.  The L-110 liquid core second stage ignites its two hypergolic propellant Vikas engines 110 seconds after liftoff, about 20 seconds before the solid motors burn out.  After a 200 second burn, the C-25 cryogenic LH2/LOX fueled third stage takes over, performing two burns for a total of 580 seconds during a typical GTO mission.  The third stage uses a newly developed CE-20 Indian Cryogenic Engine (ICE).

When it enters service, the 25 meter tall, three-segment, steel-case S-200 is expected to be the second largest active solid propellant motor in the world after the Ariane 5 EAP-E booster.  NASA's Space Launch System boosters will also surpass S-200 if and when they enter service.  S-200 is 3.2 meters in diameter and is manufactured in a plant at Sriharikota.   

The L-110 core stage is 17 meters long and four meters in diameter.  It is powered for 200 seconds by two Vikas engines similar to the engines used on the second stage of PSLV and GSLV.  On those stages Vikas burns for 150 seconds in a single-engine configuration.

The cryogenic third stage requires development of a new 20 tonne thrust CE-20 LH2/LOX engine, which is a pacing item for GSLV Mk 3.  India's less powerful Indigenous Cryogenic Engine failed during its first flight in on April 15, 2010 during the GSLV Mk 2 D3 mission.  It finally succeeded during the GSLV Mk 2 D5 flight of January 5, 2014.  
 

gslvmk3b.jpg (24717 bytes)Development

L-110 Core Stage Test at LPSC in 2010

An S-200 motor was test fired for 130 seconds on January 24, 2010 at Sriharikota. The motor produced a maximum thrust of 500 tonnes-force during the successful test.  A second successful 130 second test was performed on September 4, 2011.

A static test of the L-110 core stage was performed March 6, 2010, at ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Center (LPSC) at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.  The test was aborted after 150 seconds of a planned 200 second burn.   After an extended analysis, the test was repeated on September 8, 2010 and a full duration burn was achieved.

During January and February of 2012, ISRO fully assembled a pathfinder GSLV Mk3 vehicle at the Sriharikota Second Launch Pad complex.  The vehicle was used to perform facility tests. 

Suborbital Test Flight

A suborbital test flight without a live third stage is planned for 2014.  Live first and second stages will boost a dummy third stage and a test payload on a suborbital trajectory.

Launch Sequence

T-0 seconds:  S-200 ignition and liftoff
T+110 seconds:  L110 ignition
T+130 seconds:  S-200 burnout
T+149 seconds:  S-200 jettison
T+253 seconds:  Fairing jettison
T+310 seconds:  L110 burnout/jettison
T+310 seconds:  C-25 ignition
T+??? seconds:  C-25 shutdown
T+??? seconds:  C-25 second ignition
T+??? seconds:  C-25 second shutdown (up to 580 seconds total C-25 burn time)
T+??? seconds:  Payload separates into 180 x 36,000 km orbit

gslvmk3mu.jpg (16661 bytes)GSLV Mk3

GSLV Mk 3 Facilities Test Mockup

At Sriharikota's Second Launch Pad in India, crews have begun stacking the country's first GSLV Mk3 launch vehicle, in preparation for the GSLV Mk3 X1, or "LVM3-X", suborbital test flight. The 629 tonne, 42.4 meter tall rocket - India's largest - will fly with an inert C25 LH2/LOX third stage in a test that will loft a crew module demonstrator capsule thousands of kilometers downrange to test heat shield materials for a possible future crewed Indian spacecraft.  The launch may occur in late 2014 or early 2015.

The second GSLV Mk 3 is planned to subsequently perform the "LVM3-D1" orbital mission with a functional C25 third stage, a flight that may not occur until 2016 or later.

GSLV Mk 3, designed by India's Space Research Organization's (ISRO), will be able to lift 4-5 tonne satellites into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and potentially serve as a crew launch vehicle for India in the future. Although it shares the "Geosynchronous Space Launch Vehicle" designation with ISRO's GSLV and GSLV Mk 2 rockets, GSLV Mk 3 is an all new design.

GSLV is fitted with a 5 meter diameter payload fairing. It will lift off on the thrust of two S-200 solid propellant motors, each loaded with about 200 tonnes of propellant. The L-110 liquid core second stage will ignite its two hypergolic propellant Vikas engines 110 seconds after liftoff, about 20 seconds before the solid motors burn out. After a 200 second burn by the second stage, the C-25 cryogenic LH2/LOX fueled third stage would normally take over, performing two burns of its newly developed CE-20 Indian Cryogenic Engine (ICE) for a total of 580 seconds during a typical GTO mission. On the "LVM3-X" test flight, the propulsion phase will end when the Vikas engines of the L-110 second stage shut down.


gslvmk3s2.jpg (15676 bytes)First Flight Core (Second) Stage

The 25 meter tall, three-segment, steel-case S-200 will be the second largest active solid propellant motor in the world after the Ariane 5 EAP-E booster. NASA's Space Launch System boosters will also surpass S-200 if and when they enter service. S-200 is 3.2 meters in diameter and is manufactured in a plant at Sriharikota.

The L-110 core stage is 17 meters long and four meters in diameter. It is powered for 200 seconds by two Vikas engines similar to the engines used on the second stage of PSLV and GSLV. On those stages Vikas burns for 150 seconds in a single-engine configuration.

The cryogenic third stage requires development of the 20 tonne thrust CE-20 LH2/LOX engine, which is a pacing item for GSLV Mk 3. India's less powerful Indigenous Cryogenic Engine failed during its first flight in on April 15, 2010 during the GSLV Mk 2 D3 mission. It finally succeeded during the GSLV Mk 2 D5 flight of January 5, 2014.



lvm3xa.jpg (2496 bytes)India Tests Big New Rocket

India celebrated a successful landmark inaugural suborbital test flight of its big new LVM3 (formerly GSLV Mk 3) launch vehicle from Sriharikota's Second Launch Pad on December 18, 2014. LVM3-X, a 630.58 tonne, 43.43 meter tall two stage rocket topped by a dummy third stage, lifted off at 04:00 UTC on 1050 tonnes of total thrust from its two S200 segmented solid rocket motors. The motors, which straddled the 4 meter diameter L110 liquid core second stage, burned through about 414 total tonnes of propellant in about 148 seconds before jettisoning. S200 is the world's third most powerful solid rocket motor.

The 125.6 tonne L110 second stage ignited its two Vikas 2 engines at about the 114.7 second mark, a bit more than 30 seconds before the solid motors burned out. The engines combined to produce about 140.7 tonnes of thrust by burning 115 tonnes of N2O4/UDMH hypergolic propellants during their nearly 203 second burn. The payload fairing separated at the 232 second mark, about 86 seconds before the end of the L110 stage burn. Burnout occurred at an altitude of 126 km and a velocity of about 5,285 meters per second.


lvm3xb.jpg (17617 bytes)The LVM3-X dummy C25 third stage, an 18.3 tonne simulated version of the planned LH2/LOX C25 stage, separated during the suborbital test. A few seconds later, a 3.735 tonne, 3.1 meter diameter simulated crew module named CARE (Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment) separated and performed a reentry and parachute recovery sequence aimed for a Bay of Bengal splashdown about 1,100 seconds after liftoff.

The successful test opens the way for an orbital test flight in 2016.

 

Vehicle Configurations

  LEO
Payload
(metric tons)
200 km x 45 deg
GTO
Payload
(metric
tons)
Configuration LIftoff
Height
(meters)
Liftoff
Mass
(metric tons)
GSLV Mk 3 10 t 4-5 t 2 x S-200 Stg 1, L-110 Stg 2, C-25 Stg 3 42.4 m 629 t


Vehicle Components

  S-200
Boosters
(Each)
L110
Stage 2 Core
C25
Stage 3
Payload
Fairing
Diameter (m) 3.2 m 4 m 4 m 5 m
Length (m) 25 m 17 m ~8 m 5 m
Propellant Mass (tonnes) 200 t 110 t 25 t  
Total Mass (tonnes) ~235 t (est) ~125 t (est) ~30 t (est)  
Engine S200 2xVikas 2 CE-20  
Engine Mfgr ISRO ISRO ISRO  
Fuel HTPB UDMH LH2  
Oxidizer - N2O4 LOX  
Thrust
(SL tonnes)
525 t - -  
Thrust
(Vac tonnes)
400 t (avg) 140.72 t 20 t  
ISP (SL sec) (237 s) (est) 240 s -  
ISP (Vac sec) (266 s) (est) 281 s ~450 s (est)  
Burn Time (sec) 130 s 200 s 580 s  
No. Engines 1 of 2 2 1 1


GSLV Mk 3 Flight Record

 DATE    VEHICLE   ID PAYLOAD            MASS(t) SITE  ORBIT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
12/18/14 LMV3-X    X1 CARE/Test Flt      3.735   SR 2  SUB (1)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Suborbital test with dummy Stage 3.  CARE crew module performed 
    reentry and splashdown to test recovery systems.
=======================================================================

 

References

"www.isro.org"

 

 Last Update:  December 18, 2014