On March 29, 2018, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-6A on board Geosynchronous rocket GSLV-F08 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
GSLV-F08 (GSLV Mk-II), fitted with indigenously developed cryogenic third stage, injected GSAT-6A into orbit about 18 minutes after liftoff.
- The major change was High-thrust Vikas engine, which enhanced the performance capacity of the second stage by around six per cent as compared to previous version.
- Other major change was electromechanical actuation system (made with ISRO developed space grade lithium-ion (Li-Ion) cells) in place of electro-hydraulic actuation system.
- The rocket weighed about 415.6 tonnes and measured 49.1 metre tall.
- ISRO chairman K Sivan stated that this was Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (GSLV’s) 12th flight and sixth with indigenous cryogenic upper stage.
ISRO said that the GSAT-6A was similar to the GSAT-6 put into orbit in 2015.
- It is a high power S-band communication satellite built on I-2K satellite bus.
- GSAT-6A weighs 2140 kg and has mission life of 10 years.
- It has a six-metre wide antenna that would unfurl once it is in space.
- It will provide mobile communication to India through, multi-beam coverage facility.
- Besides, it will also provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of 6 m S-Band unfurlable Antenna, network management techniques and handheld ground terminals that could be useful in satellite based mobile communication applications.
- In the coming days, ISRO scientists will fire the thrusters onboard the satellite to manoeuvre it to a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36000km from earth.
- It is to be noted that this was the first mission for K Sivan after he took charge as ISRO Chairman in January, 2018.
Quick Facts about ISRO:
♦ Established in – 1969
♦ Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Current Chairman – Dr. K. Sivan