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India's first military satellite GSAT-7 launched successfully

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  • India's first military satellite GSAT-7 launched successfully

    India's first exclusive defence satellite GSAT-7
    was successfully launched by European space
    consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from
    Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on Friday,
    giving a major push to the country's maritime

    Indian Navy would be the user of the multi-
    band home-built communication spacecraft,
    expected to be operational by September end.
    ISRO looking for more participation of
    private players in Joint Ventures
    The Rs 185-crore GSAT-7, the country's maiden
    dedicated spacecraft for Defence applications,
    was launched during a 50-minute launch
    window which started at 2 am, and it was
    telecast live by Doordarshan.
    After a flight of almost 34 minutes, the
    satellite was injected into a Geosynchronous
    Transfer Orbit (GTO) of 249 km perigee
    (nearest point to earth), 35,929 km apogee
    (farthest point to earth) and an inclination of
    3.5 degree with respect to the equator.
    During August 31-September 4, three orbit-
    raising operations will be performed by Indian
    Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to place
    the satellite into geostationary orbit of 36,000
    km above the equator.
    By September 14, GSAT-7 is planned to be
    positioned in its orbital slot of 74 deg East
    longitude and subsequently the satellite's
    communication transponders will be switched
    The frequency bands of GSAT-7 will help
    space-based marine communications. It has
    coverage over India landmass as well as
    surrounding seas.
    "It's important from security and surveillance
    points of view", an ISRO official said.
    State-of-the-art satellite
    According to a senior space scientist, so far the
    Navy had limitation from line of sight and
    ionospheric effects, among others, as far as
    space-based communications were concerned.
    It was thought essential to have an integrated
    platform for the Navy's exclusive use.
    Earlier, satellite communication in ships was
    through Inmarsat, a major provider of global
    mobile satellite communications services.
    The state-of-the-art satellite carrying payloads
    operating in UHF, S, C and Ku bands, had a
    lift-off mass of 2625 kg and is based on ISRO's
    2500 kg satellite bus with some new
    technological elements, including the antennae.
    According to ISRO, GSAT-7 is an advanced
    communication satellite to provide wide range
    of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to
    high bit rate data communication. Its payload
    is designed to provide communication
    capabilities to users over a wide oceanic region
    including the Indian land-mass.
    The launch cost for ISRO is around Rs 470
    crore, including insurance.
    ISRO cannot launch heavy satellites like
    GSAT-7 as its home-grown GSLV rocket, with
    indigenous cryogenic stage, is still at works
    and needs two successful flights before it is
    declared operational.
    In addition to GSAT-7, the Ariane 5 orbited
    another spacecraft EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail.
    EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 - which rode in the
    top position of the Ariane 5 payload "stack" -
    separated first, some 27 minutes after liftoff.
    At approximately 34 minutes into the flight,
    the lower passenger - GSAT-7 - was deployed,
    completing the mission.
    Indian Ambassador to France, Arun Singh and
    Director of Bangalore-based ISRO Satellite
    Centre, S K Shivakumar, were among those
    who witnessed the launch.
    Singh said the launch event is also a reflection
    of strategic partnership between India and
    Shivakumar said GSAT-7 would be operational
    by next month-end.
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