The country’s heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 has been placed in its designated geostationary orbit at an altitude of about 36,000 km after four orbit-raising manoeuvres, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said Monday.
The space agency said in a statement that the orbit-raising manoeuvres were performed by firing the satellite’s propulsion system for a cumulative duration of more than four hours.
“Finally home! The communication satellite has been positioned in its designated geostationary orbit (at an altitude of about 36,000 km) with final orbit-raising manoeuvre... Solar panels and reflectors have been successfully deployed,” the space agency said.
Launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246, carrying GSAT-11 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A (South Korea), had lifted off from the Kourou launch base in French Guiana in the early hours of December 5.
Post-separation, ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan, in Karnataka, took over the command and control of GSAT-11 and found its health parameters normal.
The 5,854-kg GSAT-11 will provide high data rate connectivity to users of the Indian mainland and islands through 32 user beams in Ku-band and eight hub beams in Ka-band, the space agency said.
“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible gram panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is a part of the Digital India programme,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan had said at its launch.
Sivan said the Bharat Net Project aimed at enhancing public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health and e-governance, among others.
The ISRO had hired the Ariane-5 rocket as its own geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle, GSLV MK III, can only haul satellites that weigh up to 4 tonnes.