The second flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) will take place in February from the country's national launch complex on Sriharikota Island in the Bay of Bengal.

The GSLV, featuring a Russian-supplied upper cryogenic stage using a liquid- oxygen/liquid-hydrogen mix, will launch a 1,850kg (4,075lb) G-sat-2 experimental communications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. G-sat-2 will carry payloads for fixed and mobile satellite services and a space science experiment.

The GSLV made its debut flight in April 2001. It was developed to put India on the road to an independent capability to launch its domestic INSAT spacecraft.

India's Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, is keen to market the potential of GSLV after two more flights. To make GSLV cost competitive in the global market, an indigenous cryogenic engine is due to power the GSLV from its third flight.

India is also developing an augmented version called GSLV-Mk III, capable of launching a 4,500kg payload into geostationary orbit.

Source: Flight International