GSAT-16 satellite set to be launched tomorrow

GSAT-16 satellite set to be launched tomorrow

After being deferred twice,India's latest communication satellite GSAT-16 will be launched tomorrow from the space port of Kourou, French Guiana, Indian Space Research Organisation said.

"GSAT-16 launch is rescheduled on early morning of Dec 07 at 02:10 hrs (IST) from French Guiana," ISRO said on its website.

Hit by inclement weather, the launch of GSAT-16 was deferred for the second time yesterday after it was rescheduled to be put into space in the early hours today by Ariane 5 rocket.

The satellite launch was originally scheduled for Friday but was put off. ISRO had rescheduled it for today at 02.09 AM (IST) but within hours it was postponed again, citing the inclement weather at the launch base.

Ariane 5 VA221 is to place in orbit GSAT-16 which is designed to augment the national space capacity in communication services, along with DIRECTV-14, built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DIRECTV to provide direct-to-home television broadcasts across the US.

The capacity crunch has forced ISRO to lease 95 transponders on foreign satellites mainly for private TV broadcasters' use.

GSAT-16, with a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years, will boost public and private TV and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations.
GSAT-16 will replace INSAT-3E, decommissioned prematurely in April. It will be the 18th satellite to be launched by Arianespace for ISRO.

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