India successfully launches GSAT-6A communication satellite

India on 29 March 2018 successfully launched the GSAT-6A satellite that would provide mobile communication facilities, using its heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F08), in a copy book style. The purpose of the satellite is to provide mobile communication applications in S-band in five spot beams and C-band in one beam during its 10-year life span.

The GSLV-MkII rocket slung the satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) from where it would be taken up to its final geostationary orbit by three orbit raising manoeuvres. ISRO’s scientists at the mission control centre were visibly happy, slapping each others’ backs and hugging each other once the rocket ejected the satellite into the intended orbit.

Precisely at 4.56 p.m., the GSLV rocket ascended into the sky from the second launch pad here at Satish Dhawan Space Centre and the 49.1 metre tall rocket, weighing 415.6 tonne, slung the two tonne satellite into the intended orbit 17.46 minutes into its flight.

The GSLV is a three stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second stage is the liquid fuel-propelled and the third is the cryogenic engine. According to ISRO, two improvements induction of high-thrust Vikas engine and electromechanical actuation system — have been made in the rocket’s second stage this time around.

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