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ISRO successfully launches GSAT-6A communication satellite

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GSAT-6A will provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques. These are useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.

In yet another achievement for the Indian Space Research Organisation, India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-6A was successfully launched using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday. The launch vehicle fitted with the indigenously developed cryogenic third stage injected the satellite into orbit about 18 minutes after its lift off from the centre.

GSAT-6A will provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques. These are useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.

ISRO’s scientists at the mission control centre were visibly happy, slapping each others’ backs and hugging each other once the rocket ejected the satellite into the intended orbit. Precisely at 4.56 pm, the GSLV rocket ascended into the sky from the second launch pad at Sriharikota and the 49.1-metre tall rocket, weighing 415.6 tonnes, slung the two-tonne satellite into the intended orbit 17.46 minutes into its flight.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter to congratulate ISRO on its feet.”GSAT-6A, a communication satellite, will provide new possibilities for mobile applications. Proud of ISRO for taking the nation towards new heights and a brighter future,” he tweeted.

The satellite would provide a thrust to mobile communication through multi-beam coverage facility, the Indian space agency said. ISRO Chairman K Sivan described the mission as a success and congratulated the scientists behind the mission. Sivan said the communication satellite was successfully placed in the designated orbit. “In next nine months, we are going to have 10 missions. We will have the launch of high-bandwidth satellites for communication purposes,” said the ISRO chairman after the launch.

This marks the 12th flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F08 and sixth flight with the indigenous Cryogenic upper stage. GSAT-6A is similar to GSAT-6, a high power S-band communication satellite built on I-2K satellite bus with a mission life of about ten years, the ISRO said.

With this successful launch, India established the performance of its GSLV-MkII rocket which in future may fetch orders from third parties for launching their satellites.

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