ISRO launches communication satellite GSAT-7A

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched the country’s newest communication satellite GSAT-7A, which will give a boost to the defence forces’ communication capabilities, from Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.

In the third mission in just over a month, it launched the 2,250 kg operational communication satellite from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 4.10pm. The satellite was carried by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F11 (GSLV-F11), Isro’s 35th communication satellite and the 13th flight of the GSLV rocket to orbit.

The GSLV-Mk II rocket launched the satellite into the temporary orbit after a flight of nearly 20 minutes. The rocket will be taken into the geostationary or circular orbit using the onboard propulsion system and it will take few days after the separation from the launcher to reach its orbital slot.

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. The second stage is equipped with high thrust engine using liquid fuel. The Cryogenic Upper Stage forms the third and final stage of the vehicle.

According to reports, GSAT-7A has been built exclusively for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army and will add to the forces’ communication capabilities. It will allow IAF to interlink its ground radar stations, airbases and airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft, and reduce the reliance on on-ground control stations for drones, they said. It will also boost the air force’s network-dependent warfare capabilities, enhancing its abilities to operate globally.

This will be the space agency’s last mission for this year. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 and the PSLV-C44 remote-sensing satellite launch are among the seven missions lined up in 2019.

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