Year-ender: ISRO’s GSLV-F11 successfully launches GSAT-7A into space

Chennai: Ending the year on a high note, ISRO’s GSLV-F11, carrying GSAT-7A was successfully launched into space at 4.10 pm today as scheduled.

GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian communication satellite built by ISRO. Weighing 2,250 kg, GSAT-7A has a mission life of eight years, and will provide communication capability in the Ku-band over the Indian region.
Propellants were successfully filled this morning in the GSLV-F11 carrying GSAT-7A satellite ahead of its launch from the second launch pad of Sriharikota today. Filling of propellants commenced last evening after the 26-hour countdown for the launch began at 2.10 pm yesterday.
Earlier this month, Ka, another frequency band, was introduced in India for the first time through GSAT-11, the heaviest satellite ever built by ISRO.
 GSLV-F11 is ISRO’s fourth generation launch vehicle with three stages. The four liquid strap-ons and a solid rocket motor at the core form the first stage of the launch vehicle, while the second stage is equipped with high thrust engine using liquid fuel.
The cryogenic upper stage forms the third and final stage of the vehicle. Today’s launch will be the 17th mission and last launch of ISRO this year.
The long-awaited GSAT-7A will connect all IAF assets like planes, air-borne early warning control platforms, drones and ground stations, building a centralised network.
Along with GSAT-7 and GSAT-6, this new satellite, dubbed the ‘Indian Angry Bird’, will form the band of communications satellite for use of Indian military.
The GSAT-7 series was launched in 2013 as a dedicated communications satellite for the Indian Navy, which made the Navy completely independent of relying on foreign satellites.
(Photos: C Santhosh)

Balasubramani Muniyandi