Isro successfully launches prestigious GSAT-11

Isro successfully launches prestigious GSAT-11

5,854-kg spacecraft to boost broadband speeds to upto 16 GBPS

Blasting off from the Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou, a French territory located along the northeastern coast of South America at 02:07 am (IST), the Ariane-5 vehicle injected GSAT-11 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 33 minutes. (Image source: Twitter/@ISRO)

In a massive boost to broadband connectivity, India's heaviest satellite GSAT-11 was launched after months-long wait from French Guiana by an Arianespace rocket, early Wednesday morning. The satellite is designed to offer broadband speeds of up to 16 GigaBytes Per Second (GBPS).  

The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 2.07 am (IST) with GSAT-11 and the South Korean geo satellite Geo-Kompsat-2A. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega. 

After a 30-minute flight, GSAT-11 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one, according to the Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro). 

The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 is designed to provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and eight hub beams in Ka-band. The satellite is built to last over 15 years. 

Dubbing the satellite as India's 'richest space asset,' Isro Chairman, Dr K Sivan explained, “GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme.” The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance public welfare schemes such as e-banking, e-health and e-governance.

GSAT-11, he said, will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. 

After its separation from the launch vehicle, GSAT-11's command and control was taken over by Isro's Master Control Facility in Hassan. The health parameters were found to be normal, an Isro statement said. 

The scientists will now undertake phase-wise orbit-raising manoeuvres in the days ahead to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) using its onboard propulsion systems. GSAT-11 will be positioned at 74-degree east longitude in the geostationary orbit. 

Subsequently, its two solar arrays and four antenna reflectors will be deployed in orbit. The satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests. In the last 21 days, Isro has successfully completed three satellite and two launch vehicle missions. 

GSAT-11 is the third in a series of four satellites designed to achieve the government's ambitious target of providing high data connectivity of 100 GBPS. 

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