Bengaluru, Nov 11: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the India's latest communications satellite GSAT-15 was launched successfully by the European Ariane 5 VA-227 launch vehicle on Wednesday early morning.
An official from ISRO headquarters in Antriksh Bhawan here in Bengaluru said that the 3164 kg GSAT-15 is carrying communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
ISRO's official twitter handle broke the news at 5:33 am today morning about yet another stupendous achievement. The satellite's total life is expected around 12 years.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, the GSAT-15 will provide telecommunications services, as well as dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services for India.
"After a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane 5 launch vehicle lifted off right on schedule at 0304 hrs (3:04 am) IST today. After a flight of 43 minutes and 24 seconds, GSAT-15 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,819 km, inclined at an angle of 3.9 degree to the equator. The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one," ISRO said.
MCF Hassan takes over command and control
ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) situated at Hassan in Karnataka has already taken over the command and control of GSAT-15 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.
"Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal health and functioning as expected," ISRO said.
In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite's propulsion system in steps.
The scientists, after the completion of orbit raising operations, the two solar arrays and both the antenna reflectors of GSAT-15 are expected to be deployed.
"The satellite will be then put in its final orbital configuration. GSAT-15 will be positioned at 93.5 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit along with the operational INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites," ISRO said.
Finally, the scientists would experimentally turn on the communication payloads of GSAT-15. After the successful completion of all the in-orbit tests, GSAT-15 will be ready for operational use.
Arianespace to launch GSAT-17 & GSAT-18
Arianespace said on Tuesday on its official website that it has been selected to launch India's GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 telecommunications satellites.
The two satellites will be launched by Ariane 5 launch vehicles at the Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, in 2016 and 2017.
Each satellite will each weigh around 3,400 kg at launch and are planned as replacement satellites for the currently operational satellites providing key national services in multiple frequency bands including C, Extended-C and Ku Bands.