Bangalore: India’s advanced GSAT-10 communication satellite was successfully launched on board Ariane-5 rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana in South America and declared the launch of Indian space agency’s 101st space mission a success.
GSAT-10, with a design life of 15 years is expected to augment telecommunication, direct-to-home broadcasting and radio navigation services services by adding 30 more to the much-in-demand transponder capacity, now hit by a crunch.
At 3,400 kg at lift-off, GSAT-10 is the heaviest built by Bangalore-headquartered ISRO. At the end of a easy countdown that last about 11 hours and 30 minutes, Ariane-5 ECA rocket injected GSAT-10 into an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one, after a flight of 30 minutes and 45 seconds, Indian Space Research Organisation said.
“The satellite is in good health”, ISRO said after checks on various subsystems of the spacecraft, adding all its parameters were satisfactory.
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, who was at MCF at Hassan at the launch, said, “By November 2012, we expect to operationalise GSAT-10 and make it available to the user community.
With a scramble for transponders, India is now managing a significant part of its requirement by leasing foreign transponders to meet the domestic demand.
GSAT-10 also has a navigation payload – GAGAN (GPS aided Geo Augmented Navigation) — that would provide improved accuracy of GPS signals to be used by Airports Authority of India for civil aviation requirements.
This is the second satellite in INSAT/GSAT constellation with GAGAN payload after GSAT-8, launched in May 2011.
GSAT-10 was originally scheduled for a 22 September launch, but was deferred after scientists detected a small glitch — one gram of dust — in the upper part of the rocket.
The overall cost of this project is a Rs 750 crore that includes the cost of satellite, launch services by the European space consortium Arianespace and insurance.IB
Shivakumar said GSAT-10 would give an impetus to the ‘communication revolution’ in India. It is planned to experimentally turn on the communication payloads in the second week of October, ISRO said.
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