India’s first ‘military’ satellite, GSAT-7, launched successfully

In this handout photo released by ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE on August 30, 2013 shows the launch of an Ariane-5 rocket, carrying two telecommunication satellites Eutelsat 25B/ Eshail1 (France/Qatar) and GSAT-7 (India) from Kourou space base in the French overseas department of Guiana. JM GUILLON/AFP/Getty Images

IANS

Bangalore — India’s first military satellite, GSAT-7, was successfully put into orbit early Friday by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) heavy rocket, authorities said.

It was launched in the early hours of the morning from its spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana off the Pacific Coast.

“The advanced multi-band communication satellite was deployed in the transfer orbit, around 36,000 kilometres from above the earth, by the Ariane-5 rocket of the ESA’s Arianespace 34 minutes after its lift-off at 2 a.m. IST,” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement from Bangalore.

The Indian space agency’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, about 180 kilometres from Bangalore, acquired signals from the 2.5-tonne dedicated spacecraft five minutes before it was separated from the rocket.

The cost of the launch on board the commercial Arianespace rocket was about $75 million.

According to defence experts, the satellite will allow the navy to acquire Blue Water capabilities and it need not depend on foreign satellites like Inmarsat, which provides communication services to its ships.

The spacecraft is equipped with transponders in Ku band, S band, C band and UHF (ultra high frequency) band to improve the maritime communications among the Indian Navy’s warships.

“The satellite’s solar panels were deployed soon after it was placed in the orbit for generating 2,900 watt power. Initial checks have indicated its health is normal,” the ISRO statement noted.

A 108 Ampere-Hour Lithium-Ion battery enables the satellite to function even during the eclipse period.

IANS 2013-08-30 09:00:04

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