ISRO Successfully Launches GSAT-6A Communication Satellite From Sriharikota [WATCH]

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| March 29 , 2018 , 17:48 IST

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the GSAT-6A in orbit on Thursday. The space agency tested certain improved critical systems in the launch vehicle - GSLV Mk-II - that may eventually be used in its future missions, including the country’s second lunar mission.

It was the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s 12th flight and sixth with the indigenous cryogenic upper stage.

After 17 minutes of lifting off from the launch pad, the rocket injected the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The spectating ISRO scientists who were watching the monitors at the mission control centre in broke into euphoric celebrations.

In the coming days, the scientists will fire the thrusters onboard the satellite to manoeuvre it to a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000km from earth.

The satellite has a six-metre wide antenna that would unfurl once it is in space. The antenna, meant for S-band communication, is three times broader than those generally used in ISRO satellites.

This feature will enable the satellite to provide mobile communication for the country through handheld ground terminals. The smaller antenna in other communication satellites requires larger ground stations.

The satellite will primarily be used by the Indian Army as it gives them a better in-depth view of the geographical characteristics of the terrain.