At exactly 3:04 am on November 11, at the Kourou spaceport in distant French Guyana in South America, the Indian Space Research organisation (ISRO) gave India it’s Diwali gift. It successfully launched an indigeneously made communications satellite GSAT-15, using one of the world’s largest rockets – the Ariane-5.
Then, after a flight of 43 minutes and 24 seconds, GSAT-15 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The ISRO Master Control Facility at Hassan, Karnataka, took over the command and control of GSAT-15 after its separation from the launch vehicle.
An Arabsat communications satellite also accompanied the GSAT-15 on the same launch.
Made at a cost of Rs. 278 crores, the GSAT-15 satellite weighs 3164 kg. With 24 transponders in the ku band, GSAT-15’s primary role will be to boost direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting.
Photo source: www.satellitetoday.com
It will also enhance the GPS-aided augmented navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands, which will help in aircraft navigation. GSAT-15 also provides a replacement for the Ku-band capacity of INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites, which are getting ready to retire. GSAT-15 has a life of 12 years.
Currently, India has a shortage of transponders in space. The Indian satellite system is only able to handle a third of the required capacity, with the rest being leased from foreign satellite companies.
“The launch of GSAT-15 will be one more step towards further strengthening the satellite navigation infrastructure and sustaining the communication infrastructure in the country,” said ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar.
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