India’s heaviest satellite GSAT-10 launched to boost DTH, communication services

India News Bulletin

After an initial delay of a week because of one gram of dust on the rocket, India has finally successfully launched its 101st space mission called GSAT-10 communication satellite on Saturday, September 29, the Indian Space Research Organisation has said.

ISRO successfully launched GSAT-10 communication satellite
ISRO successfully launched GSAT-10 communication satellite
Image: YouTube (INBMinistry)

While complete all in-orbit tests are yet to be carried out by ISRO, the satellite will be ready for operational use by November 2012 and will boost India’s telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services.

GSAT-10 weights 3400 kilograms making it the heaviest Indian satellite that the Indian research organisation has built. It has an operational life of about 15 years.

The satellite was lifted by the Ariane-5 carrier rocket as per schedule on Saturday after a smooth countdown lasting nearly 12 hours.

After a flight of 30 minutes and 45 seconds, GSAT-10 was injected into an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one. ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) took over the command and control of the GSAT-10 immediately after the injection. 

The researchers conducted preliminary health checks on the various subsystems of the satellite including its power, thermal, command, sensors and controls systems and confirmed that all the parameters were satisfactory. Following this, the satellite was oriented towards the Earth and the Sun using the onboard propulsion system.

“The satellite is in good health,” ISRO has said.

In the first week of October, the Indian researchers will perform orbit-raising maneuvers to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit such that it has the required inclination with reference to the equator. The satellite will then be moved to the orbit. 

After the completion of orbit-raising operations, two solar panels and two dual-gridded antenna reflectors of GSAT-10 will be deployed for further tests and operations.

It is planned to experimentally turn on the communication payloads in the second week of October 2012, according to the ISRO. 

GSAT-10 Satellite has 30 communication transponders and a Navigation payload "GAGAN" that would provide GPS signals to be used by the Airports Authority of India for Civil Aviation requirements.

GSAT-10 is the second satellite in INSAT/GSAT constellation with GAGAN payload after GSAT-8, launched in May 2011. it was scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2012 but was delayed to September 22. However, after scientists found one gram of dust on the rocket, its launch was delayed further to September 29.

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