Communication Satellite Current Affairs

NASA successfully launches Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NSAS) has successfully launched Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) into orbit. It was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

TDRS-M is third and final satellite in a series of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), next generation communications satellites.

TDRS-M

TDRS-M as part of NASA’s Space Network will provide navigation and high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station (ISS), Hubble Space Telescope, rockets and a host of other spacecraft. It will also expand the capabilities and extend the lifespan of the NASA’s Space Network which will allow researchers to continue receiving and transmitting mission data well into the next decade.

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)

The TDRSS is a fleet of geosynchronous communications satellites that form part of NASA’s Space Network. It was introduced in the 1980s to support the Space Shuttle. It is still in service, providing scientific data, relay for communications, telemetry and commands between operators on the ground and spacecraft in Earth orbit. TDRS-M’s predecessors, TDRS-K and TDRS-L were also launched onboard of Atlas V rockets in January 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The TDRS fleet is a critical connection for delivering science and human spaceflight data to researchers on Earth.

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India’s communication satellite GSAT-18 successfully launched from French Guiana

India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully launched from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.

The satellite was launched on board of heavy duty Ariane-5 VA-231 rocket of Arianespace. It was successfully injected into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

GSAT-18 was the 20th satellite from ISRO to be launched by the European space agency and overall 280th mission of the Arianespace rocket launcher family.

Key Features of GSAT-18

  • GSAT-18 is indigenously built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It weighs around 3,404 kgs at lift-off. It has a mission life of about 15 years.
  • It carries 48 communication transponders including Ku-band beacon for accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
  • These transponders will provide services in Upper Extended C-band, Normal C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum.
  • GSAT-18 will provide services like television, telecommunication, VSAT and digital satellite news gathering.
  • The satellite will play important role in strengthening ISRO’s current fleet of 14 operational telecommunication satellites.
  • It will also enable continuity of vital communication services by replacing ageing satellites of ISRO. Master Control Facility (MCF) of ISRO at Hassan, Karnataka will control the satellite.

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