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GSAT-15 successfully launched from French Guiana

Bengaluru: Seeking to augment telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services, India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-15 was successfully launched by European Ariane rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana in the early hours today.

The satellite with a lift-off mass of 3,164 kg was injected into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) about 43 minutes after a perfect lift-off of Ariane 5 at 3:04 AM (IST) on flight VA-227.

After a flight of 43 minutes and 24 seconds, GSAT-15 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,819 km, ISRO said.

GSAT-15 was hurtled into the orbit very close to the intended one after its co-passenger Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) was injected into the space.

A high power satellite, GSAT-15 is being inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system. GSAT-15 carries a total of 24 communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.

Providing replacement for the Ku-band capacity of INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites, GSAT-15 will augment and support the existing DTH and VSAT services in the country. The GAGAN payload will meet the in-orbit redundancy requirement for Safety of Life (SOL) operations benefiting the civil aviation services and other users of augmented GPS-based systems in the country.

ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-15 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.

Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal health, ISRO said here.

Speaking at the launch facility in Kourou, ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) Director M Annadurai said the launch of GSAT-15 will enable ISRO to provide continuity of service to Indian users in Ku-band.