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New Delhi: In what could give a major boost to broadband connectivity in rural areas, India’s most-advanced high-throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from Spaceport in French Guiana, on Wednesday. The satellite weighs 5854-kg GSAT-11 and is the heaviest satellite ever built by the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro). It has a mission life of 15 years.

“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme,” said ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan. The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others. It targets high throughput data rate connectivity at 16 Gigabits per second. The satellite with multi-spot beams would cover the Indian mainland and islands. A siver only a limited geographic area on earth.

“GSAT-11, which is the 34th communication satellite built by ISRO, will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites,” said Sivan. ISRO has successfully completed three satellite and two launch vehicle missions during the last one month.

The satellite was launched using heavyweight rocket Ariane 5, which is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega. The launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 carrying India’s GSAT-11 and one of South Korea’s satellite, lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana at 02:07 am (IST). After a 30-min flight, GSAT-11 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage and reached close to the intended orbit. 

Soon after its 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 scientists would now undertake phase-wise orbit tests to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit which is 36,000 km above the equator using its on-board propulsion systems, after which the satellite is expected to become operational.


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