With the ninth flight of India’s Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) D6, the latest communication satellite of the country, GSAT-6 will be launched today. The launch is all set to take place at 4:52 pm from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
India’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-6 will be launched at 4:52 pm today from the Second Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The 29 hour countdown for this launch began at 11:52 am on Wednesday.
The satellite will be lifted off with the GSLV-D6 rocket, marking the ninth flight of India’s Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
GSLV is a launch system controlled by ISRO. The rocket is also carrying on-board an indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) for the third time. This flight is also significant because GSLV-D6 plans to continue with the CUS testing.
The 2,117 kg GSAT-6 is the twenty fifth geostationary communication satellite of India built by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It has a cuboid shape and is twelfth in the GSAT series. The GSLV-D6 will place the satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).
Geostationary satellites are used for digital, audio, data and video broadcasting, and they have been developed by ISRO with the view of making India self-dependant in terms of broadcasting.
This satellite forms the third and upper stage of the rocket and it is being launched with the purpose of providing S-band communication services in India through mobile consoles and phones.
The overall length of GSLV-D6 is 49.1 meter and it has a lift-off mass of 416 tonne. Once it reaches GTO, GSAT-6 will reach the geostationary orbital home by using its own propulsion system. It will be placed at 83 degree east longitude.
The cryogenic upper stage (CUS) on-board GSLV-D6 is called the CUS-06. Cryogenic engines provide more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt.
Five predecessors of GSAT-6 were launched by GSLV in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2014. The satellite provides communication through five spot beams in S-band and a national beam in C-band. GSAT-6 has many advanced features such as the S-Band Unfurlable Antenna which has a diameter of 6 meter, making it the largest satellite antenna made by ISRO. “We will launch GSAT-6 for strategic applications in July-end or August beginning, with a special antenna that will have a capability to use a handheld device to communicate from anywhere,” ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar had said earlier this year.
The launch will also be telecast live on Doordarshan and will be webcast on the ISRO website from 4:22 pm today.