India's latest communication satellite GSAT-15, meant to augment telecommunication, direct-to-home and radio navigation services, was successfully launched by the European Ariane rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana in the early hours of Wednesday.
The satellite with a lift-off mass of 3,164 kg was injected into the intended geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) about 43 minutes after a perfect lift-off of Ariane 5 at 3:04 a.m. (IST) on flight VA-227, the Indian Space Research Organisation said.
GSAT-15 was launched into the orbit very close to the intended one after its co-passenger Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) was injected into space.
A high power satellite, GSAT-15 is being inducted into the INSAT / GSAT system. It carries 24 communication transponders in Ku-band as well as a GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
Providing replacement for the Ku-band capacity of INSAT-3A and INSAT-4B satellites, GSAT-15 will augment and support the existing DTH and VSAT services in the country. ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-15 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.
Speaking at the launch facility in Kourou, ISRO Satellite Centre director M. Annadurai said the launch of GSAT-15 will enable ISRO to provide continuity of service to Indian users in Ku-band.