ISRO to launch GSAT-11 in January, expected to revolutionize communications, internet services

People watch as India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D6) blasts off carrying a 2117 kg GSAT-6 communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan space centre at Sriharikota, India, August 27, 2015. Reuters

India is all set to take another big step in its communication sector with the launch of the GSAT-11 communication satellite. The blast off is scheduled to place within few weeks of 2018 from French Guiana, South America.

GSAT-11 will be the heaviest communication satellite ever launched by India for the satellite-based Internet communication, which is expected to revolutionize the country's telecom sector. The satellite-based Internet has been mainly focused on rural India under the present government's Digital India programme to bring faster internet connectivity for everyone in the Country.

European Space Agency's heavy-lift launch vehicle Ariane 5 will carry the massive satellite to its orbit. GSAT-11 will have the size of a room with tall ceiling and would weigh six tonnes or 5,725 kg. It would have four solar panels with four meters length.

The Indian Space Research Agency satellite is said to have power equivalent to combined powers of all communication satellites sent by India. It could work like a constellation of 30 normal orbiting satellite and would cover the entire Indian mainland and nearby Islands using its multi-spot beam coverage.

The cutting-edge technology of the GSAT-11 will provide internet of 12 Gbps capacity to its users from a single platform.

The satellite has been designed and developed along with 2 other satellites in this segment, GSAT 19 and GSAT 20. GSAT 19 had been launched on June 5, 2017, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. ISRO's GSLV Mk 111-D1 was used to the satellite. The GSAT 20 mission is also been planned for the latter part of 2018.

The space agency plans to extensively engage in series of mission this year including the launch of Cartosat 2 satellite mission for earth observation and Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon. PSLV launcher, the workhorse launcher of ISRO would be extensively used this year for 6 consecutive launches during the first phase of 2018.

The launcher had been undergoing extensive investigation following its failure to launch IRNSS-1H, the eighth satellite of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. The workhorse launcher had garnered credit for launching 104 satellites in one go and for its consecutive 39 launches, which were all successful.

This article was first published on January 7, 2018