The Union Cabinet on 6 May 2015 gave its nod for building and launching of GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication satellites.
These two satellites with the structure similar to the GSAT-10 are aimed at providing replacement capacity and in-orbit backup that is they will provide for continuance of the services of existing users and augmenting in-orbit spare capacity to meet emergencies.
GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 satellites will weigh about 3425 Kg each and will be built and launched within 30 months at a cost of 1013.20 crore rupees and 1022 crore rupees respectively.
The satellites will augment and support existing telecommunication, television and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services in the entire mainland of the country.
About GSAT System
• The GSAT or Geosynchronous satellite is a constellation of communication satellites developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with an objective to make India self-reliant in broadcasting services.
• Satellites are called GSAT because they function in a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.
• Till date, 12 satellites were launched under the system and among them only six are operational.
• The first satellite in the series GSAT-1 was launched in April 2001 and the most recent GSAT-16 satellite was launched in December 2014.
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When: 6 May 2015