ISRO’s GSLV launches ‘South Asia Satel­lite’

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - News -

In­dia’s Geosyn­chronous Satel­lite Launch Ve­hi­cle ( GSLV- F09) launched the 2230 kg South Asia Satel­lite (GSAT-9) into its planned Geosyn­chronous Trans­fer Or­bit (GTO) on 5 May 2017. This was its eleventh launch and took place from the sec­ond launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Cen­tre SHAR ( SDSC SHAR), Sri­harikota, the space­port of In­dia, the fourth con­sec­u­tive suc­cess achieved by GSLV car­ry­ing an in­dige­nously de­vel­oped Cryo­genic Up­per Stage. In its oval shaped GTO, the South Asia Satel­lite is now or­bit­ing the Earth with a perigee (near­est point to earth) of 169 km and an apogee (far­thest point to earth) of 36,105 km with an or­bital in­cli­na­tion of 20.65 de­grees with re­spect to the equa­tor.

Few sec­onds be­fore the launch count­down reached ‘ zero’, the four liq­uid pro­pel­lant strap- on mo­tors of GSLV- F09, each car­ry­ing 42 tons of liq­uid pro­pel­lants, were ig­nited. At count zero and af­ter con­firm­ing the nor­mal per­for­mance of all the four strapon mo­tors, the 139 ton solid pro­pel­lant first stage core mo­tor was ig­nited and GSLV lifted off at 16:57 IST. The ma­jor phases of the flight oc­curred as sched­uled. About sev­en­teen min­utes af­ter lift-off, the South Asia Satel­lite was suc­cess­fully placed in GTO. Soon af­ter sep­a­ra­tion from GSLV, the two so­lar ar­rays of the satel­lite were au­to­mat­i­cally de­ployed in quick

suc­ces­sion and the Mas­ter Con­trol Fa­cil­ity (MCF) at Has­san in Kar­nataka as­sumed con­trol of the satel­lite.

The ‘ South Asia Satel­lite’ is a com­mu­ni­ca­tion satel­lite built by ISRO to pro­vide a va­ri­ety of com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices over the South Asian re­gion. For this, it is equipped with Ku-band transpon­ders.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess­ful launch, the Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, Naren­dra Modi con­grat­u­lated ISRO and re­marked that the day was his­toric for South Asia. The Prime Min­is­ter re­called that two years ago In­dia made a prom­ise to ex­tend the ad­vanced space tech­nol­ogy for the cause of growth and pros­per­ity of the peo­ple of South Asia and felt that the suc­cess­ful launch of South Asia Satel­lite ful­filled that.

PM Modi called the launch of ISRO’s GSLV-F09 as a “gift to SAARC na­tions.” The Prime Min­is­ter fur­ther thanked the lead­ers of the neigh­bour­ing na­tions – Afghanistan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani, Bangladeshi Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese Prime Min­is­ter Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, Pres­i­dent of Mal­dives Ab­dulla Yameen, Nepal Prime Min­is­ter Prachanda and Sri Lankan Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena – who joined the satel­lite launch event via video con­fer­enc­ing along with Modi. Pak­istan was not a part of the project. “The sup­port and pres­ence of these lead­ers will add even more joy in the hearts and minds of our re­gion. We are a united fam­ily of South Asian coun­tries, united in our pur­suit of peace, progress and pros­per­ity of our re­gion and the en­tire hu­mankind,” he stated.

The move aimed at build­ing stronger ties with South Asian coun­tries though was crit­i­cised by Pak­istan, who chose to stay away from the project. The neigh­bour­ing na­tion had ear­lier agreed to as­so­ciate with the project and col­lab­o­rate with In­dia in build­ing and de­sign­ing the satel­lite but later, pulled out forc­ing In­dia to change the name from SAARC Satel­lite to South Asia Satel­lite.

In the fol­low­ing days, the satel­lite or­bit was raised from its present GTO to the fi­nal cir­cu­lar Geo­sta­tion­ary Or­bit (GSO) by fir­ing the satel­lite’s Liq­uid Apogee Mo­tor (LAM) in stages. The ‘South Asia Satel­lite’ will be com­mis­sioned into ser­vice af­ter the com­ple­tion of or­bit rais­ing op­er­a­tions and the satel­lite’s po­si­tion­ing in its des­ig­nated slot in the GSO fol­low­ing in-or­bit test­ing of its pay­loads.

GSAT-9 seen with two halves of pay­load fair­ing of GSLV-F09

Hoist­ing of the GSLV-F09 sec­ond stage dur­ing ve­hi­cle in­te­gra­tion

And lift off!

Panoramic view of GSLV-F06 be­ing moved to launch pad

A view of fully in­te­grated GSLV-F09 from the top of ve­hi­cle assem­bly build­ing

The fully in­te­grated GSLV-F06 car­ry­ing GSAT-9 at the sec­ond launch pad

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