The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday successfully launched the country’s heaviest satellite GSAT-11 aboard an Arianespace rocket from the French Guiana. Weighing about 5,845 kg, the satellite will aim to enhance broadband services in the country.
The satellite was launched from the Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou base, a French territory along the northeastern coast of South America, at 2.07 am. The rocket also carried a South Korean satellite. Thirty-three minutes after the launch, the rocket ejected GSAT-11 into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit.
In the coming days, the satellite will use its on-board propulsion systems to be raised to the geostationary orbit 36,000 km above the equator, where it will be positioned at 74-degree east longitude. Afterwards, the satellite will deploy its two solar arrays and four antenna reflectors in orbit and become operational.
“Today’s successful mission has boosted the confidence of the entire team,” said ISRO Chairperson K Sivan.
After the separation, ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Karnataka’s Hassan took over the command of GSAT-11 and found it operating properly.
India’s heaviest satellite is a next generation “high throughput” communication satellite built around the agency’s I-6K Bus, and has a designed lifetime of more than 15 years.
According to ISRO, the satellite will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands. It is the third in a series of four satellites aimed at achieving the government’s target of providing high-data connectivity of 100 Gigabits per second across the country under the Digital India Mission, PTI quoted Sivan as saying.
“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible gram panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of the Digital India Programme,” Sivan said. The Bharat Net Project aims to improve public welfare schemes available online, like e-banking, e-health, e-governance and others.
The mission comes a week after ISRO on November 29 successfully launched an earth observation satellite on board a polar satellite launch vehicle from Sriharikota.