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India launches heaviest satellite boosting broadband speed
India's space history reaches a milestone as the country’s heaviest satellite that would boost the speed of broadband services was successfully launched from the French Guiana early today, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Blasting off from the launch complex at Kourou, a French island along the north eastern coast of South America at 2:07am (Indian time), the Ariane-5 rocket put the GSAT-11 satellite weighing about 5,854kg in the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 33 minutes.
"ISRO's heaviest and most-advanced high through put communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today," reports our New Delhi correspondent quoting a statement issued by the ISRO.
After a 30-minute flight, GSAT-11 separated from the rocket in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit very close to the intended one, the statement said.
It is a next generation "high throughput" communication satellite with a designed lifetime of 15 years, it said.
Post-separation, ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan in southern Indian state of Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-11 and found its health parameters normal, the Indian space agency said in the statement.
The satellite is initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and will be gradually raised to the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) through phase-wise orbit-raising maneuvers using its on-board propulsion systems, according to the statement.
According to ISRO, GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and 8 hub beams in Ka-band. It will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country and also be a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, the space agency added.
".....the heaviest, largest and most powerful satellite ever built by India is successfully launched by Ariane-5 today," ISRO Chairman K Sivan said soon after the launch, describing the GSAT-11 as the "richest space asset" for India.
It is going to provide something like 16 GBPS data link services to the country, he said.
It is the third in a series of four satellites aimed at achieving the Indian government's ambitious target to provide high data connectivity of 100 GBPS in the country under the Digital India Mission, the ISRO chairman added.
The launch of GSAT-11 was initially planned for May 25 this year but citing the need for additional technical checks it had to be rescheduled, he added.