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ISRO Launches Communication Satellite GSAT-6
Aug 29, 2015

In its ninth flight (GSLV-D6) conducted on August 27, 2015, India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, equipped with the indigenous Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS), successfully launched GSAT-6, the country's latest communication satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).  The achieved orbit is very close to the intended one.

Salient Features

  • The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota, the spaceport of India.

  • This was the fifth developmental flight of GSLV and the third to carry the indigenous CUS.  GSLV-D6 was intended to further test and qualify the CUS developed by ISRO.

  • The 416 tonne, 49 metre tall GSLV-D6 carrying the 2117 kg GSAT-6, lifted off at 4:52 p.m.. About 17 minutes after lift-off, GSAT-6 was successfully placed in GTO.

  • In its oval shaped GTO, the GSAT-6 satellite is now orbiting the Earth with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 168 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,939 km with an orbital inclination of 20.01 deg with respect to the equator.

  • At 4.8 seconds before the countdown reached zero, the four liquid propellant strap-on stages of GSLV-D6, each carrying 42 tonne of liquid propellants, were ignited.

  • At count zero and after confirming the normal performance of all the four strap-on motors, the mammoth 139 tonne solid propellant first stage core motor was ignited and GSLV lifted off.

  • The major phases of the flight included the core motor burn-out, strap on burn-out, ignition of the second stage, separation of the core motor together with strap-ons, payload fairing separation, second stage separation, CUS ignition and its timely shut down after satisfactory performance.

  • The Indian-made satellite carries a very special giant antennae which will open up in space like an umbrella.

  • This large antennae will help India's strategic forces to communicate with each other on secure lines using special small hand held devices—a capability most needed in today's modern network centric warfare.

GSLV’s higher capabilities as compared to the PSLV that has made 28 successful launches in a row, is made possible by a cryogenic part of the three-stage engine. Cryogenics is the science of extremely low temperatures. The cryogenic engine uses liquid engine and liquid hydrogen as propellants. 


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