India's heaviest advanced communication satellite, GSAT-10, was successfully launched from Europe's spaceport in French Guiana early Saturday.
"The launch of ISRO's 101st space mission, GSAT-10 satellite has been a success. At 3400 kg, GSAT-10 is the heaviest Indian satellite that Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has built," the ISRO said in a statement.
The launch vehicle lifted off on scheduled time at 2.48 am on Saturday after a countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes.
"After a flight of 30 minutes and 45 seconds, the GSAT-10 satellite was injected into an elliptical Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended orbit," the ISRO statement said.
The operational life of the satellite is expected to be 15 years and will be ready for use by November 2012 after the successful completion of all in-orbit tests.
The 3400 kg, GSAT-10 satellite will enhance India's telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services.
The Bangalore-headquartered ISRO launched the satellite on the European Ariane 5 rocket since India's cryogenic rocket engine is still under development. The total expenditure of the mission including the cost of satellite and launch services is Rs 7.5 billion.
"In the coming five days, orbit raising maneuvers will be performed to place the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit with required inclination with reference to the equator. The satellite will be moved to the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite propulsion system in a three step approach," the ISRO statement said.
While GSAT-10 is ISRO's 101st mission, for Arianespace's heavy-lift workhorse, it was the 65th launch.
"GSAT-10 was the second satellite orbited during Arianespace's mission tonight from the Spaceport on its way to an orbital position of 83 deg. East - where it is to be operated by the ISRO," Arianespace said in a statement.
"With this latest success, Arianespace has now lofted 15 spacecraft for ISRO, which designed, assembled and integrated GSAT-10 in Bangalore, India," Arianespace's statement said.
The satellite has 30 Communication Transponders - 12 in Ku-band, 12 in C-band and 6 in Extended C-Band. It also has a Navigation payload GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) that would provide GPS signals of improved accuracy, according to ISRO statement.
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