The GSAT-7A being launched on ISRO’s GSLV in Sriharikota in December 2018.
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Union Cabinet has granted approval
The Union Cabinet on Monday approved five more GSLV satellite launch vehicles for the period 2021-24 under the next phase 4 of the ongoing GSLV continuation programme.One of them could be used for the second Mars mission which is being considered.Third phaseSanctioned in 2003, the programme is currently in its third phase. The allocation of ₹2729.13 crore includes the cost of the launchers, augmentation of the facilities, programme management, and launch campaign, a statement said.The Indian Space Research Organisation uses the GSLV, the second of its three launchers, to put 2,000-kg class of communication and other satellites to a GEO (or geosynchronous) orbit about 36,000 km away.“The GSLV Continuation Programme – Phase 4 will meet the launch requirement of satellites for providing critical satellite navigation services, data relay communication for supporting the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme and the next interplanetary mission to Mars. This will also ensure the continuity of production in Indian industry,” the statement said.The first two geo imaging (or Earth observation) satellites in a hrGEO orbit are slated for the second half of this year on two GSLVs.The GSLV has so far launched ten national satellites, the last one in December 2018. It has made the country self-reliant in putting its 2,000 kg-class communication and weather satellites to space. Powered by the indigenous cryogenic upper stage, it is now a reliable launcher for communication, navigation and meteorological satellites and also to undertake future interplanetary missions.