ISRO's GSAT-11, India's most powerful satellite, successfully launched from French Guiana in flawless 33-minute flight

At 2:07 am IST on Wednesday, India's heaviest satellite GSAT-11, which holds the promise of turbocharging India's broadband speeds, was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from the French Guiana.

At 2:07 am IST on Wednesday, India's heaviest satellite GSAT-11, which holds the promise of turbocharging India's broadband speeds, was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from the French Guiana. Blasting off from the Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, a French territory located along the northeastern coast of South America, the Ariane-5 vehicle injected the GSAT-11 into orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 33 minutes.

In a detailed note released after the launch, Arianespace says it has "two other ISRO satellites in its order book to launch: GSAT-30 and GSAT-31. The latter, GSAT-31, will be lofted by Arianespace early next year."

GSAT-11 being loaded into a thermovacc chamber for transport. Image courtesy: ISRO

GSAT-11 being loaded into a thermovacc chamber for transport. Image courtesy: ISRO

"The heaviest, largest and most powerful satellite ever built by India is successfully launched by Ariane-5 today," ISRO Chairman K Sivan said moments after the launch.

GSAT-11, Sivan said, is going to India's "richest space asset".

"The satellite has 38 spot beams as well as eight sub beams, which would cover the entire country, including the remote places ... it is going to provide something like 16 Gbps data link services to the country."

GSAT-11 is expected to bring these greater speeds of 16 Gbps (no less) to meet the growing data demands of Indian telecom subscribers. It is also expected to bridge the communication gap between the country's urban and rural population. Large parts of rural areas still remain untouched by the scope of commercial telecom today — something GSAT-11 is designed to address.

Under Digital India's BharatNet project, GSAT-11 will boost access to voice and video streaming in most, if not all, of rural India, ISRO said.

“With India moving fast towards implementing ‘Smart Villages and Cities’, they can be efficiently linked through a large communication satellite,” K Sivan, chairman of ISRO, said in a curtain raiser.

The GSAT-11 is a next generation "high throughput" communication satellite with a mission lifetime of 15 years.

Weighing about 5,854 kg, GSAT-11 is the "heaviest" satellite built by ISRO.

The satellite will be initially placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and later raised to Geostationary Orbit by firing the on-board Liquid Apogee Motor.





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