Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heaviest satellite so far, the GSAT-11 weighing over 5.7 tonnes, which the space agency had postponed the launch, will launch from the European spaceport in French Guiana on November 30.
ISRO had initially cleared the launch of GSAT-11 on 25 May from Kourou (a site in South America), but delayed the launch and recalled it back to India from the launch site in French Guiana for additional checks, after ISRO lost communication to another satellite, the GSAT-6A which was launched on 29 March 2018 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The satellite launch was recalled to check for possible glitches.
GSAT 11 is the biggest satellite ever built by India. The high-power spacecraft is designed to provide broadband connectivity across India and neighboring regions, offering major capacity upgrades over India’s existing communications satellites.
“After a series of negotiations, Arianespace has finally agreed to launch GSAT-11 this year itself and fix 30 November as the date of the launch.”, ISRO chairman K Sivan told The Times of India.
The report said that GSAT-11 carries 40 transponders in the Ku-band and the Ka-band frequencies, and is capable of providing high bandwidth connectivity with up to 14 gigabit per second data transfer speed. The commercial payload includes Ka x Ku-Band Forward Link Transponders and Ku x Ka band Return Link Transponders.
In a major setback to ISRO, the space agency lost contact with its GSAT-6A satellite after it was launched in March 2018. ISRO had been trying to establish contact with GSAT-6A, a satellite meant for military communication.
“After a thorough check and additional tests, it was found fit for launch,” an ISRO official said.