Isro sends military satellite into orbit
Sriharikota: The Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro) geosynchronous launch vehicle on Wednesday successfully injected into orbit the country's latest advanced satellite which will substantially enhance the communication systems of the Indian Air Force (IAF). After a 26-hour countdown, the GSLV-F11, carrying the 2,250-kg GSAT-7A, lifted off at 4.10 pm from the second launch pad at Sriharikota, situated about 110 km from Chennai.
Around 19 minutes after lift-off, the GSLV-F11 injected GSAT-7A into the intended orbit. It will be placed in its final geostationary orbit using the onboard propulsion systems. According to Isro, the satellite would take a few days after separation from the launcher to reach its orbital slot.
Isro scientists broke into cheers as the satellite was injected into orbit. According to the space agency officials, the advanced communication satellite would facilitate exclusive frequency flight communication for the IAF.
From the Mission Control Centre, Isro Chairman K Sivan said that Wednesday's "successful and safe" launch was the third one in 35 days and came close on the heels of the "grand success" of two missions in November. The GSLV-F11 successfully injected the "advanced" communication GSAT-7A into orbit, an elated Sivan said, describing the mission as "wonderful."
This was the heaviest satellite lifted by the GSLV with the indigenous cryogenic stage, he said. It came with many firsts, including increased propellant loading and other features, the ISRO chief said. The "cryogenic stage is burnt to depletion to get a super synchronous transfer orbit to enhance the life of the satellite," he said.
The mission life of the GSAT-7A, built by Isro, is eight years. It will provide communication in Ku-band over the Indian region. The advanced communication satellite also came with new technology regarding the antenna to improve the performance, Sivan said.
Its solar panels have been deployed and orbit raising manoeuvres will be done from Thursday morning from Bengaluru, he said. Wednesday's mission also gave the scientists some anxiety "as the weather god was not very conducive some one week back," Sivan noted.