India’s multi-band communication satellite GSAT-16 was successfully put on a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by the European launcher Ariane 5 VA221, from the Kourou space port in French Guiana.
Earlier, due to bad weather, the launch of GSAT-16 was delayed by two days.
- It is indigenously developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and has lift-off mass of 3,181 kg.
- GSAT-16 is carrying C-band and Ku-band transponders in order to further augment communication services across – VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services, TV services and emergency communications in India.
- It is configured to carry a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest number of transponders carried by a communication satellite developed by ISRO the so far.
- GSAT-16 with a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years will be the 18th satellite to be launched by Arianespace for ISRO.
- It will replace INSAT-3E, which was decommissioned a little prematurely in April, 2014.
After it was successfully placed in GTO, ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka has taken control of GSAT-16 satellite.
Now, MCF will performs the initial orbit raising manoeuvres using the satellite’s on-board Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) and finally placing it in the vicinity of circular Geostationary Orbit.
After this, the deployment of appendages such as the solar panels, antennas and three axis stabilisation of the satellite will be performed. It will be positioned at 55 degree East longitude in the geostationary orbit and co-located with GSAT-8, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B satellites.
Implications: GSAT-16 satellite will help to boost public and private TV and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations. It will help to reduce ISRO’s capacity crunch of transponders as it has leased 95 transponders on foreign satellites mainly for the use of private TV broadcasters.