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8 Things to Know about ISRO’s Giant Leap, the Launch of Advanced Weather Satellite INSAT-3DR Today

Today will be a red-letter day in the annals of India’s successful space programme as ISRO will be launching a two ton advanced weather satellite – INSAT 3DR from its second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota.

The launch is scheduled for today 16:10 hrs IST.

Here are the salient features of this remarkable engineering marvel:

1. This is the first operational flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) carrying the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper State (CUS) engine named CUS-07.

Fully integrated GSLV-F05 coming out of the Vehicle Assembly Building
Fully integrated GSLV-F05 coming out of the Vehicle Assembly Building

2. The three-stage GSLV rocket is 49.1 metres (approx. 161 feet) tall and has a lift off mass of 415.2 tons.

3. INSAT 3DR weighs 2,211 kg and it will have an operational life of 10 years.

The fully integrated GSLV-F05 carrying INSAT-3DR
The fully integrated GSLV-F05 carrying INSAT-3DR

4. The Cryogenic Upper Stage engine uses Liquid Oxygen (LOX) maintained at -183 Degree Celsius and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) at -253 Degree Celsius as propellants, which are pumped by specially designed turbo pumps operating at 40,000 rpm.


The high thrust cryogenic engine is designed and developed by Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram. With the support of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) also at Thiruvananthapuram. The engine assembly, integration and testing is carried out at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) at Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli.

5. After reaching its Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), INSAT 3DR will use its own propulsion system to reach its final Geostationary Orbital home at 74 Degrees East Longitude.

Indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage undergoing testing

6. The major building material used in INSAT-3DR is the light weight but structurally strong Carbon Fibber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP).

7. INSAT-3DR will have a solar power array that will generate 1700 Watts (1.7 kW) of power.

8. The payloads on INSAT-3DR include a multi-stage imager (optical radiometer) and a 19 channel sounder – both of which provide a host of meteorological observation data.


A data relay transponder and a Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SAS & R) Transponder will help detect distress signals from maritime, aviation and land systems. The major users of the SAS & R transponder will be the Indian Coast Guard, Airports Authority of India, Directorate General of Shipping, defence services and fishermen. Other nations that will benefit from using the Satellite Aided Search and Rescue Transponder services will be – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

You can watch a live telecast of the launch at


Know more about it here.

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