Bengaluru: India’s heaviest satellite GSAT-11, that would boost broadband services in the country, was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from French Guiana in the early hours of Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Blasting off from the Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, a French territory located along the northeastern coast of South America, at 02:07 am (IST),
the Ariane-5 vehicle injected the GSAT-11 into orbit in a flawless flight of about 33 minutes.
“ISRO’s heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today,” the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian space agency said.
The ISRO hired Ariane-5 rocket as its own geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle GSLV MK III can only haul satellites that weighs upto 4 tonnes.
GSAT-11 has been described as India’s “richest space asset” by the ISRO.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the ISRO on the successful launch and called it a “major milestone” for the country’s space programme, which would transform the lives of crores of Indians by connecting remote areas.
“Congrats to @isro for the successful launch of GSAT-11, which is the heaviest, largest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite of India,” he tweeted.
“India is proud of our scientists, who keep innovating and setting high standards of scale, achievements and success. Their remarkable work inspires every Indian.
@isro,” he said in another tweet.
After a 30-minute flight, GSAT-11, the 34th communication satellite built by the ISRO, separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one, it said.
“The heaviest, largest and most powerful satellite ever built by India is successfully launched by Ariane-5,” ISRO Chairman K Sivan said at the launch complex, describing GSAT-11 as the “richest space asset”for India.
Weighing about 5,854 kg, the next generation “high throughput” communication satellite GSAT-11 is the “heaviest” satellite built by the ISRO and has a designed life span of more than 15 years.
GSAT-11, the top-of-the-line communication satellite in ISRO’s portfolio, is capable of providing high bandwidth connectivity with speeds of up to 16 gigabytes per second.
Post-separation, ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-11 and found its health parameters normal, the ISRO said in a statement here.
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