Bangalore (ISJ) ? India's communication satellite, GSAT-16 was successfully launched by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle VA221 from Arianespace space centre, Kourou in French Guiana on Sunday (Dec. 07). The satellite was placed into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit at 0241 IST, about 32 minutes after lift-off. Initial checks at Indian Space Research Organistion, ISRO?s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka shows the satellite is in normal health.
GSAT-16 carries Ku-and C-band transponders to further augment communication services across India. The dual rocket mission with 48 transponders, is the largest-ever communication satellite built by ISRO.
"The communication satellite will become a major asset for our space programme," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, commenting on the successful launch of GSAT-16.
The present orbit of the satellite will be raised to Geostationary Orbit of about 36,000 km altitude through three orbit raising manoeuvres. The first firing of the satellite?s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) Engine is planned for Dec. 08. GSAT-16 will be placed in the Geostationary Orbit by Dec. 12 and subsequently its communication transponders will be switched on for in-orbit testing according to ISRO.
Image courtesy: Arianespace