Launch of Indian satellite put off to May 21

May 17th, 2011 - 12:23 am ICT by IANS  

ISRO Bangalore, May 16 (IANS) The launch of and Indian geo-stationary satellite (GSAT-8) on board an Ariane-V rocket from Kourou in French Guiana has been postponed by a day to May 21, the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said late Monday.

“The launch postponement has been necessitated for certain additional inspection by the launch agency Arianespace. The timing of the launch will be confirmed soon,” the Indian space agency said in a statement here.

The indigenously built 3.1-tonne (3,100kg) GSAT-8 has 24 Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home (DTH) services by state-run and private broadcasters.

Earlier, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) informed the Indian space agency that GSAT-8 would be launched May 20 at 02:27 IST from its Kourou spaceport in South America.

Within 30 minutes after the launch, Ariane will deploy the heavy satellite in a elliptical geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and the space agency’s master control facility (MCF) at Hasan in Karnataka, about 180 km from Bangalore, will take over its command and control.

The satellite will be gradually put in the 36,000km geosynchronous orbit over the subsequent days and its antenna and solar panels will be deployed. The MCF will also test and monitor the health parameters of the payloads by June 1. It will be available for DTH services from next month.

Along with GSAT-8, the space agency is sending the global position system (GPS) aided geo augmented navigation (Gagan) to improve the accuracy of the United States’ GPS.

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