New Delhi: GSAT-31 – India’s latest communication satellite – was successfully launched on board Arianespace rocket from French Guiana during wee hours on Wednesday.

GSAT-31 was injected into the orbit by Ariane-5 that blasted off from Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou, a French territory located in northeastern coast of South America at 02:31 am (IST). The flight lasted about 42 minutes.

Congratulating Arianespace on the successful launch and precise injection of GSAT-31 into the orbit, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Director S Pandian said, “It gives me great pleasure on the successful launch of GSAT-31 spacecraft on board Ariane-5, this is the third mission for ISRO in 2019.”

Arianespace CEO St phane Isra l tweeted: “2019 is off to a roaring start for #Arianespace! Flight #VA247, carrying Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 and GSAT-31, is a confirmed success that underscores our leadership position in the geostationary launch market. @KACST #HellasSat @ISRO @LockheedMartin.”

All You Need to Know About GSAT-31

  • GSAT-31 weighs about 2,535 kg and will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.
  • It derives its heritage from ISROs earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series.
  • The satellite provides Indian mainland and island coverage.
  • GSAT-31 is the country’s 40th communication satellite which is configured on ISRO’s enhanced ‘I-2K Bus’, utilising the maximum “bus capabilities” of this type.
  • According to ISRO, this satellite will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit.
  • GSAT-31 has a mission life of around 15 years and will be used for supporting VSAT networks, Television uplinks, Digital Satellite News Gathering, DTH-television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
  • The satellite also provides wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over large oceanic region, comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, using a wide band transponder.

The Ariane-5 vehicle (Flight VA247) also carried Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 along with GSAT-31.

The launch of GSAT-30 by Arianespace is also on the cards in the near future. Arianespace had launched India’s APPLE experimental satellite on Ariane Flight L03 in 1981 and since then it has orbited 23 satellites and signed 24 launch contracts with the Indian space agency.