February 6: Adding new heights to its achievements, ISRO successfully launched India’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-31 from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today. GSAT-31 is India’s fortieth communication satellite.
The Ariane-5 rocket lifted off with it from Kourou Launch Base at 2:31 am Indian time, and in 42-minutes, placed it in the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) immediately took control of the satellite from Hassan facility in Karnataka. It will be made operational after bringing the satellite to its final geostationary orbit using the usual orbit-raising manoeuvres in the next few days.
With a lift-off mass of 2536 kg, GSAT-31 will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit. Derived its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series, the satellite will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.
“GSAT-31 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage. The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands”, stated ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan.
GSAT-31 will provide transponder capacity for DTH television and connectivity to services like VSATs for ATMs, stock-exchanges, Digital Satellite News Gathering DSNG and e-governance applications. It will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications.
"The satellite GSAT-31 has the footprint over both mainland India and her island territories. It has an operational life of over 15 years, offering seamless services by replacing the ageing INSAT-4CR satellite”, added Dr K Sivan.
Eleven such satellites are already in operation, serving the nation in space. They together make one of the largest constellations of its class in the world.