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Current Affairs: India's GSAT-18 Communication Satellite successfully Launched

India's latest communication satellite GSAT-18 successfully launched from French Guiana

Communication Satellite GSAT-18
  • India's latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched early this morning by a heavy duty rocket of Arianespace from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.
  • The European launcher Ariane-5 VA-231 blasted off at around 2 AM Indian Time and injected GSAT-18 into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit shortly after orbiting co-passenger Sky Muster II satellite for Australian operator, National Broadband Network. 
20th satellite from ISRO - GSAT-18
  • GSAT-18 is the 20th satellite from ISRO to be launched by the European space agency and the mission is the 280th for Arianespace launcher family. 
  • ISRO, which has been dependent on Ariane-5 rocket for carrying its heavier satellites, is developing GSLV Mk III for this purpose. 
  • GSAT-18's co-passenger Sky Muster II, built by Space Systems Loral in California, is aimed at bridging the digital divide, especially in the rural and isolated regions of Australia.
  • Weighing 3,404 kgs at lift-off and having a mission life of about 15 years, GSAT-18 will strengthen ISRO's current fleet of 14 operational telecommunication satellites. It carries 48 communication transponders to provide services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman AS Kiran Kumar, who witnessed the launch from the mission control centre, said, GSAT-18 is an important satellite for India that will enable the continuity of the vital communication services in the country by replacing the currently ageing satellites. 
About GSAT-18
  • India's latest communication satellite, GSAT-18 was inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system on October 06, 2016 from Kourou, French Guiana by Ariane-5 VA-231. Weighing 3404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide Services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
  • GSAT-18 is designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and Ku-bands. 
  • GSAT-18 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by Ariane-5 VA-231 launch vehicle. After its injection into GTO, ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan took control of GSAT-18 and performed the initial orbit raising maneuvers using the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) of the satellite, placing it in circular Geostationary Orbit.
Source: AIR News,