The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on December 19, 2018, successfully launched geostationary communication satellite GSAT-7A onboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F11. The 26-hour countdown for the launch commenced on December 18 at 2.10 pm and the rocket blasted off at 4.10 pm from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
1. The launch vehicle, GSLV-F11, which is in its 13th flight, will inject GSAT-7A into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
2. The satellite with a mission life of eight years has been built to provide communication capability to the users in Ku-band over the Indian region.
3. The satellite separated from the rocket after 19 minutes of the launch. It will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit (GEO) using the onboard propulsion system.
4. According to ISRO, GSAT-7A will take a few days after separation from the launcher to reach its orbital slot.
5. GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The four liquid strap-ons and a solid rocket motor at the core form the first stage.
6. While the second stage is equipped with a high thrust engine using liquid fuel, the cryogenic upper stage forms the third and final stage of the vehicle.