ISRO’s GSLV rocket successfully launches GSAT-6A communication satellite
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday successfully launched the GSAT-6A, a communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
“The GSAT 6A is a complement to GSAT 6 which is already in orbit. These two satellites combined provide a platform for development of advanced technologies such as unfurlable antenna, two-way, point to point satellite communication,” K Sivan, chairman Isro, said.
A striking feature of the satellite, which would provide a thrust to mobile communication, is an unfurlable six-metre antenna, the largest satellite antenna developed by Isro.
It is used to relay five S-band spot beams, which are targeted radio signals used for providing multimedia services. The GSAT 6A is a technology demonstrator for high power S-band transmission. It will also transmit a C-band beam that provides
coverage across the Indian subcontinent.
The satellite, with a mission life of about ten years, was placed in orbit by the GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) F-08 in a three-stage launch.
In the final stage it will rely on an indigenously developed cryogenic engine, which is more
efficient and provides greater thrust for every unit of propellant. They use propellants liquified hydrogen and liquified oxygen rather than earth-storable liquid and solid propellants, and have to be stored at extremely low temperatures and pose a high degree of technological complexity.
The Indian space agency is concluding the financial year on a high note and is already gearing up for the launch of the IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) 1I in the coming two weeks.
The satellite’s launch has been a pain point for the space agency, after a failed attempt to launch a replacement for IRNSS 1A.
“This year is going to be another high profile year for Isro, in next 9 months we will have 10 missions,” the space agency’s chairman said.