GSAT-11: India’s heaviest communication satellite launched successfully from French Guiana

India’s heaviest and most-advanced communication satellite GSAT-11, also called the “Big Bird”, was successfully launched into space on December 5, 2018, from the Spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

The satellite will help provide satellite-based internet to remote places where cable-based internet cannot reach. The satellite, weighing 5854 kg, is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that has been put into the orbit.

Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the GSAT-11 was launched on the Ariane 5 VA-246 rocket from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana. The Ariane 5 also lifted off South Korea’s GEO-KOMPSAT-2A satellites. Ariane 5 is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace along with Soyuz and Vega.

Key Highlights:-

1. After a 30-minute flight, GSAT-11 separated from the Ariane 5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The achieved orbit was very close to the intended one.
2. Post-separation, ISRO’s Master Control Facility in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-11.
3. The scientists will now undertake phase-wise orbit-raising maneuvers to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36000 km above the equator) using its onboard propulsion systems.
4. GSAT-11 will be positioned at 74-degree east longitude in the geostationary orbit.
5. Two solar arrays and four antenna reflectors of GSAT-11 will be deployed in orbit.
6. The satellite will be operational after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests.

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