ISRO successfully launches GSAT-29 on India's heaviest rocket GSLV Mark III; PM calls double success
Sriharikota, Nov 14: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the GSLV Mark III rocket carrying the GSAT-29 communication satellite at 5:08 pm (IST) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Wednesday.
Marking ISRO's fifth launch for the current year, the communication satellite carries high throughput communication transponders in the Ka and Ku bands which can expand high-speed data transfer in the remote areas of India.
GSAT-29 is the 33rd Made-by-India communications satellite. It is a multi-beam and multiband communications satellite. Once operational, GSAT-29 will provide internet connectivity in some of the remotest areas in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northeast.
ISRO chief K Sivan said,''Credit must go to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) team. Let me congratulate entire team for this wonderful achievement.''
''This particular satellite is going to provide services to remote place in India, especially in J&K&northeast India under Digital India program of GoI,'' he said.
''On 15 Aug'17, our PM declared a great gift for all of us that is Gaganyaan mission. Already team is identified and work is going on. For first unmanned mission of Gaganyaan activity, we are planning for 2020 Dec. Team ISRO has the capability to do the work,'' he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the team on Twitter. "My heartiest congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of GSLV MK III-D2 carrying GSAT-29 satellite. The double success sets a new record of putting the heaviest satellite in orbit by an Indian launch vehicle," he said.
GSAT-29 is carrying an on-board unique high-resolution camera that is capable of tracking "enemy ships" in the Indian Ocean. This high-resolution on-board camera is being referred to as Geo-Eye. It is expected to aid agencies involved in strategic surveillance.
The satellite launch is the second test flight for the GSLV Mark III rocket, which is also ISRO's heaviest rocket. The rocket is capable of introducing four-tonne class satellites into a geostationary transfer orbit.
With an operational life of over ten years, the satellite weighs 3,423 kg during lift-off.
On Tuesday, the 27-hour countdown for the launch of India's latest communication satellite GSAT-29 onboard the second developmental flight GSLV-MkII D2 from the spaceport of Sriharikota began.
The ISRO chief said the Wednesday launch was one of the "very important missions and a milestone" for India's space programme.
"This is GSLV-MkIII-D2 second developmental flight. It is going to launch very important and high throughput satellite GSAT-29. The satellite will be useful in Jammu and Kashmir and North East region for providing connectivity under the Centre's Digital India programme", he said.
"(It is) This vehicle (GSLV-MkIII) is going to launch the Chandrayaan-II and also the manned mission. We are getting prepared for that. If everything goes normal, lift off will happen at around 5pm and 8 minutes (tomorrow)", he said.