India's communication satellite GSAT-16 was successfully launched at 0210 hrs on Sunday by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle VA221 of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana.
Ariane-5 placed GSAT-16 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), after a flight of 32 minutes and 20.4 seconds duration.
Isro will put 48 transponders in space through the launch of GSAT-16.
GSAT-16 is an advanced communication satellite weighing 3181.6 kg at lift-off and is being inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system. It is configured to carry a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest number of transponders carried by a communication satellite developed by Isro so far, in normal C band, upper extended C band, and Ku band.
"This will definitely boost satellite capacity as 48 new transponders will be added to the existing 180 transponders," Isro chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan told HT.
The designed on-orbit operational life of GSAT-16 is 12 years. The communication transponders on board GSAT-16 will ensure continuity of various services provided by INSAT/GSAT system and serve as on-orbit spares to meet the contingency requirements or for the augmentation of such services.
Isro's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka started acquiring the signal from the satellite at 0241 hrs IST and control of the satellite was initiated. Initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite.
The present orbit of the satellite will be raised to Geostationary Orbit of about 36,000 km altitude through three orbit-raising manoeuvres by the firing of GSAT-16's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) Engine.
Preparations are underway for the first firing, planned in the early hours of December 8. The satellite will be placed in the Geostationary Orbit by December 12 and, subsequently, the satellite's communication transponders will be switched on for in-orbit testing.