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ISRO successfully launches GSLV-D6 carrying GSAT-6 Satellite

by Bharath ChowdaryAugust 27, 2015

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6) has successfully blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Sriharikota, near Chennai.

GSLV-D6 is the ninth flight of India’s GSLV. It is also the fifth developmental flight of GSLV. This is the third time the indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) is being carried onboard during a GSLV flight. GSLV-D6 flight is significant since it intends to continue the testing of CUS. GSLV is designed to inject two-tonne class of communication satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), said Isro.

GSAT-6 will provide S-band communication services in the country. After reaching GTO, GSAT-6 will use its own propulsion system to reach its final geostationary orbital home and will be stationed 0 at 83 East longitude.

The 49.1 metre, weighing 416 tonne tall rocket precisely at 4.52 pm blasted off from the second launch pad at ISRO. It may be noted the current GSLV rocket of Isro can carry a capacity of around 2.2 tonnes, but  GSLV-D6 weight was much higher.

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The rocket carrying the cuboid shaped GSAT-6 communication satellite weighing 2,117 kg slung it in GTO around 17 minutes into the flight. The whole mission concluded in just the way it was envisioned.

The successful launch is another feather in the Indian space agency’s hat as getting the cryogenic engine right is important for India’s future space programmes, said experts. Isro scientists spent nearly two decades in conceiving and mastering the cryogenic technology. Around Rs 400 crore was spent on developing the technology. A cryogenic engine is more efficient as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt.

ISRO can send smaller communication satellites, around two tonnes, until at least it gets an advanced GSLV variant -GSLV-Mark III- that can lug satellites weighing around four tonnes, they added.GSAT-6 is India’s 25th geostationary communication satellite and twelfth in the GSAT series including one in  2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2014 respectively.

Five things to know about GSAT-6

1) GSAT-6 will join the group of India’s other operational geostationary satellites and it will provide communication through five spot beams in S-band and a national beam in C-band for strategic users.

2) The S-Band Unfurlable Antenna of six metre diameter is one of the advanced features of GSAT-6 satellite

2) This is the largest satellite antenna realised by ISRO and it is utilised for five spot beams over the Indian main land

3) Spot beams exploit the frequency reuse scheme to increase frequency spectrum utilisation efficiency.

4) The satellite’s life expectancy is nine years.

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