ISRO successfully launches the GSAT-6A communication satellite
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the GSAT-6A communication satellite from its launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The GSAT-6A is a high power S-band communication satellite with a mission life of about 10 years. It primarily aims to provide mobile communication to India through a multi-beam coverage, but will also "provide services for defense purposes."
The satellite will provide mobile communication services, test developing technologies
The satellite will also act as a platform for testing developing technologies like newer network management techniques and hand-held ground terminals. It will also demonstrate the 6m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, which is thrice the size of the antenna generally used by ISRO satellites.
The satellite was launched on the GSLV-F08 rocket
The satellite was launched using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08) rocket. With a weight of 415.6 tons and a height of 49.1 meters, the GSLV-F08 sees two improvements with this launch. It now features a high-thrust Vikas Engine and an electromechanical actuation system instead of an electro-hydraulic actuation system. The improved engine will power the second stage of the launch vehicle.
The high-thrust Vikas Engine can be used in Chandrayaan-2 mission
Referring to India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, which is planned to launch in October this year, an ISRO official said, "Any improvement in the vehicle will be usually incorporated in the subsequent launches."
GSAT-6A was put into orbit 17 minutes after lift-off
This launch marks the 12th flight of the GSLV-F08 rocket. The GSAT-6A satellite was put into a geostationary transfer orbit at an altitude of about 35,975km around 17 minutes after lift-off. The GSAT-6A succeeds the GSAT-6 communication satellite, which has been in orbit since 2015, and will be followed by a navigation satellite in the next fiscal year.