French rocket Ariane-5 launches India's communication satellite GSAT-17


ISRO launched India's 18th Communication Satellite

Weighing 3,477 kg, the GSAT-17 is set to lift off onboard Ariane-5 launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana at 2.29 am on Thursday.

In an official update, ISRO said: "In the coming days, orbit raising maneuvers will be performed to place the GSAT-17 satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite's propulsion system in steps".

Ariane-5 also carried the new INSAT satellite provided meteorological data relay, satellite-based search, and rescue services. This is ISRO's third satellite launch in June, the recent one being, the earth observation Cartosat 2 series satellite via the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - C38 and earlier it had launched the heavyweight Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III. It has a life expectancy of 15 years.

The first such operational communication satellite designed and built by ISRO, INSAT-2A, went into space, again on an Ariane rocket in July 1992. GSAT-17 is scheduled to be launched tomorrow (June 29, 2017) at 02:29 AM IST. "Unlike Ariane 5's usual missions, our heavy-lift vehicle delivered not for two but for three major customers at the service of telecommunications today".

"We had put one electric propulsion engine in GSAT-9 and we have successfully tested that".

Dr.K.Sivan who is the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre watched the launching from the mission control center.

The aeronautical communications project is a partnership between Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, which provides a network of approximately 300 4G ground sites, allowing a computerized controller aboard aircraft to automatically switch between ground and satellite Wi-Fi service as needed.

Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN - a two payload "condosat" produced by Thales Alenia Space for Hellas Sat and Inmarsat - was set to ride on a Falcon Heavy.

ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan takes control of GSAT-17 communication satellite.

"In all probability, GSAT-11 will be the last satellite that is going to be launched using a foreign launcher".

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