ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6) successfully lifted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Thursday evening carrying a GSAT-6 communications satellite.

The launch marks the ninth flight of the GSLV and the third developmental flight in which ISRO has utilised the indigenously developed cryogenic upper stage (CSU).

GSLV is designed to inject 2-tonne class satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits and on its 9th flight delivered the GSAT-6 satellite into orbit 17 minutes after takeoff.

Cryogenic engines are more efficient as they produce more thrust per kilogramme of burnt fuel than solid booster rockets and liquid fuel engines, and India’s efforts to build one have taken over 2 decades.

Currently ISRO can launch satellites up to 2 tonnes, but for larger 3-4 tonne satellites is currently developing the GSLV Mark III. Further development of India’s cryogenic stages is crucial.