Today ISRO monster rocket launches Indian GSAT-19 satellite into space.The Indian Space Organisation (ISRO) just launched one of its heaviest communication satellites, the GSAT-19. The launch vehicle, GSLV MK III-D1, became the heaviest rocket to be used till date.GSAT-19 is an Indian communications satellite launched by the Indian Space Research Organization aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III on June 5, 2017.
The satellite will act as a testbed for the modular I-6K satellite bus, carrying experimental technologies such as ion thrusters for manoeuvring and stabilisation, active thermal control using thermal radiators, a miniaturised inertial reference unit, indigenously produced lithium-ion batteries, and C-band traveling-wave-tube amplifiers.
Congratulating the scientists and others who worked for the successful mission, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said: “It is a historic day. The entire team has worked since 2002. The vehicle carried the next generation satellite. We are looking forward to getting the satellite operational.”
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director Dr K Sivan said, “It is the commencement of two complex technologies – a vehicle that can carry twice the payload weight and a high throughput satellite. It is the continued efforts of the team and industry contribution.”
The first orbital launch of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk.III) marked a milestone in India’s space program, with the more powerful rocket allowing the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to begin launching heavier payloads aboard its own vehicles – both for spaceflight applications such as communications and in support of the country’s nascent manned space program.
The GSLV-Mark III in its first developmental flight will carry communication satellite GSAT-19 weighing 3,136 kg from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The GSLV-MK III-D1 is a three-stage vehicle with two solid motor strap-ons, a liquid propellant core stage and a cryogenic stage (C25).
If successful, the single GSAT-19 satellite will be equivalent to having a constellation of 6-7 of the older variety of communication satellites in space. Currently, of the 41 in-orbit Indian satellites, 13 are communication satellites.
While the size of the rocket/launch vehicle is being talked about, it is the satellite–GSAT-19–that is billed as the real game-changer. According to experts, the satellite can be the first to provide “Internet services using a space-based platform”.
Internet services may not be unleashed immediately but what the country is putting together is a capability in place which is important especially to connect places that are literally off the fibre optic Internet backbone.
Weighing more than three tonnes, the GSAT-19 satellite is the heaviest satellite made and launched from India, and is the test bed for several new technologies.
The GSAT-19 will be powered for the first time with indigenously-made Lithium-ion batteries. Similar batteries can be later used to power electric vehicles like cars and buses.
According to ISRO, the GSAT-19 “carries a Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP) payload to monitor and study the nature of charged particles and the influence of space radiation on satellites and their electronic components”.
The GSAT-19 also features a miniaturised heat pipe, fibre optic gyro, Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) accelerometer. These new features are being tested with GSAT-19 and can go on to become an intrinsic part of the systems on future missions.
The GSAT-19 will not have transponders, and instead it will beam data using multiple frequency beams. According to experts, this feature will also let the satellite beam more data to the ISRO.
|Website||GSLV mk-III D1|
|Mission duration||Planned: 10 years|
|Manufacturer||ISRO Satellite Centre
Space Applications Centre
|Launch mass||3,136 kg (6,914 lb)|
|Dry mass||1,394 kg (3,073 lb)|
|Dimensions||2.0 × 1.77 × 3.1 m (6.6 × 5.8 × 10.2 ft)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||5 June 2017|
|Rocket||GSLV Mk III D1|
|Launch site||Satish Dhawan SLP|
|Perigee||170 km (110 mi)|
|Apogee||35,975 km (22,354 mi)|
Nasa Space Flight says that, “also aboard GSAT-19 is the Geostationary Radiation Spectrometer (GRASP), which will detect and study charged particles in the satellite’s environment. This will help to characterize the effect of these particles on the satellite and its electrical systems. GSAT-19 will initially be stationed at a longitude of 74 degrees East.
The GSAT-19 spacecraft has a design life of ten years. The satellite is powered by a pair of solar arrays capable of generating 4.5 kilowatts of electrical power, and is also equipped with an Indian-manufactured lithium-ion battery which can store 100 amp-hours of energy for subsequent use.
Monday’s launch was the third of the year for India, following a PSLV launch in February which deployed the Cartosat-2D military imaging satellite along with 103 other spacecraft, and May’s GSLV Mk.II flight with the GSAT-9 satellite aboard.
India’s next launch is expected around the end of this month, with a PSLV carrying another Cartosat spacecraft into orbit. The GSLV Mk.III’s next launch will carry India’s GSAT-20 communications satellite – this is currently scheduled for no earlier than December, or more likely early 2018.”