In a historic moment, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched GSAT-29 communication satellite carried by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-Mk III) into space today.
The satellite is aimed at solving the communication barriers of Village Resource Centres (VRCs), which enable space-based services to ISRO from rural areas.
The launch took place from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, despite expected delays by the cyclone ‘Gaja’, which is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu coast on 15 November.
Weighing at 3,423 kg (just over 3.4 tonnes), the GSAT-29 is a communication satellite designed for a mission life of 10 years. It will also serve as a test-bed for new technologies in communications.
The GSAT-29 carries Ka/Ku-band high throughput communication transponders intended to meet the communication requirements of users including those in remote areas. In addition, several new technologies such as Q/V-band payload, data transmission through optical communication link will be demonstrated in this programme. This will help in realising future advanced satellites.
The satellite will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit (GEO) at a height of 36,000 km from Earth, using the onboard propulsion system. “It may take few days after separation from the launcher to reach its orbital slot,” said ISRO.
In an official statement, ISRO said that this will be the second developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III rocket with a rated carrying capacity of four tonnes. The first of the series was the GSAT-19, which was sent into orbit in June 2017.
It further added,
GSLV MkIII-D2 will inject the satellite into GTO with a required inclination to the equator. The satellite will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit (GEO) using the onboard propulsion system. It may take a few days after separation from the launcher to reach its orbital slot.
GSLV MkIII is a three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO.
The vehicle consists of two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage. GSLV Mk III is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of GSLV Mk II, said the Quint.