The Indian Space Research Organisation on Thursday launched its geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle [GSLV-F05] carrying its indigenous weather satellite INSAT-3DR. The lift-off from the Isro launch pad at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, took place at 4.50 pm.

A geosynchronous satellite is one that orbits the Earth at a fixed point 35,786 km above the equator and travels in the same direction as the planet is rotating. The satellite is equipped with its own propulsion system to reach the geosynchronous orbit. It will be stationed at the 74°E longitude, according to Isro.

The INSAT-3DR has an operational life of eight years and is an advanced satellite that tracks important meteorological phenomena. It has an imaging system that will provide high-quality night pictures. It is also equipped with an atmospheric sounder, as well as a special search-and-rescue transponder to help in satellite-aided relief operations.

This is the 10th flight of India’s GSLV. Its success is crucial because it is the vehicle that will launch India’s second mission to the moon – Chandrayaan-2 – next year. Moreover, global communication satellite manufacturers will be monitoring the event closely because there is a shortage of reliable launchers, reported Business Standard. Analysts believe that a successful GSLV launch will reduce Isro’s dependency on foreign launchers.