Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully deployed its new GSAT-6A communication satellite atop its GSLV-F08 on Thursday from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Launched aboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08), the rocket equipped with indigenously developed cryogenic third stage coupled with solid and liquid fuel that lifted off the 2-tonne satellite into the Geosynchronous Orbit within 18 minutes of launch.
K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO stated that this is the sixth launch of GSLV with a cryogenic engine developed by ISRO itself. Once the GSAT-6A satellite becomes operational, it will perform its function of providing point-to-point communication along with the previously launched GSAT-6 that was launched earlier. The recently launched rocket had two major improvements over others. According to the reports, the high-thrust Vikas engine was enhanced further to perform outperform its own earlier performance by 6%.
Another feat achieved by the engineers and scientists at ISRO is that they replace the electro-hydraulic actuation system which the new and improved electromechanical actuation system powered by space grade lithium-ion cells that were indigenously developed by ISRO itself.
The 49.1-metre tall rocket weighing approximately 415.6 tonnes lifted off the 2-tonne satellite at 4.56p.m. precisely on Thursday aboard GSLV rocket and reached its orbit 17.46 minutes into its flight after which, the deployment was performed and the satellites were successfully stationed at the intended orbit. The GSAT-6A is meant to provide mobile communications in five spot beams in S-band and one beam at C-band and it has been determined to work for over 10-years from its launched.
The GSLV is a three-stage rocket with the core or first stage powered by solid fuel with strapped-on motors powered by liquid fuel. Once the first stage exhausted, the second stage ignites with is propelled using liquid fuel. Finally, the third stage is powered by an indigenously built cryogenic engine which gives a lot of power to the engine to reach its destined orbit. Presently, India’s ISRO uses Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to put foreign satellites into orbit after charging a certain fee. Further, the space agency will introduce the heavyweight GSLV with MK II rocket for other satellites as well.
As per the details, GSAT-6A weighs approximately 2,066 kg and was built on a cost of 270 crore INR. It carries the largest antennas spanning over 6 meters built by ISRO to provide signals to mobile communications. The satellite is capable of having a two-way data exchange comprising of voice, video, and data that will be used by military prominently as per the manifest.