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ISRO communication satellite GSAT-8 launched successfully news
21 May 2011

Bangalore: India's GAGAN system, meant to provide navigation assistance for aircraft over Indian airspace and adjoining areas, as well as the country's direct-to-home services have received a significant boost with ISRO's latest communication satellite, the GSAT-8, being successfully launched into orbit by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana.

The GSAT-8 being integrated into the Ariane-5 rocket at Kourou. Image: ArianespaceGSAT-8 was injected into space by European launcher Arianespace's Ariane-5 rocket which lifted-off at 02.08 am (IST), with Japan's ST-2 satellite as co-passenger.

French Guiana is a region of France on the north-east coast of South America.

The GAGAN or the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation is the Indian version of the American WAAS (Wide-Area Augmentation System). Once GAGAN is available, users who have WASS-compatible receivers will be able to get GPS position with accuracy of roughly 1 meter or better.

GAGAN is not a replacement for the GPS system but an extension that will make the US GPS more accurate over India and thus can be used for many high-precision applications.

At 3,100 kg, GSAT-8 is one of the heaviest and most high-powered satellites built by the Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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ISRO communication satellite GSAT-8 launched successfully