India's GSAT-16 communications satellite launched successfully

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 
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According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India’s communication satellite, GSAT-16, was successfully launched at 0210 hrs IST today (December 7, 2014) by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle VA221 of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana. Ariane-5 precisely placed GSAT-16 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), after a flight of 32 minutes and 20.4 Seconds duration.

ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka started acquiring the signal from the satellite at 0241 hrs IST and the commanding of the satellite was initiated. Initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite.

The present orbit of the satellite will be raised to Geostationary Orbit of about 36,000 km altitude through three orbit raising manoeuvres by the firing of GSAT-16’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) Engine. Preparations are underway for the first firing, planned in the early hours of December 8, 2014. The satellite will be placed in the Geostationary Orbit by December 12, 2014 and subsequently the satellite’s communication transponders will be switched on for in-orbit testing.

GSAT-16 is a geostationary communication satellite which will carry 24 C-band, 12 Ku-band and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders. GSAT-16 satellite will support satellite based telecommunication, television, VSAT and other services in the country.