India's heaviest and most powerful communication satellite has been launched on 5 December, 2018 from Ariane-5 rocket of Arianespace, French Guiana. But have you ever thought that why it was not launched from India. What are its salient features and why it is different from other satellites of India? Let us study through this article.
Why GSAT-11 was not launched from India?
ISRO launches a low-volume satellite from PSLV, which has a capacity of about 2 tonnes, but GSAT-11 is launched by French Guiana Arianespace because the GSAT-11 satellite weighs more than 5 tons. India has not been completely self reliant in launching massive satellite. Moreover, India's agency currently does not have a rocket which is capable of lifting the satellite to orbit in one piece. At present, maximum 4 tons of satellites can be carried by GSLV Mk-III. That is why the French Arianespace's Ariane-5 rocket has been hired by ISRO to launch GSAT-11 which has a capacity of about 9.1 tons.
Space Centre at French Guiana is operational since 1968. Because of two major geographical factors this location is suitable for spaceport:
- It is near the equator, so that less energy is required to maneuver a spacecraft into an equatorial, geostationary orbit, and
- In the east there is an open sea due to which at the time of launch failures, lower stages of rockets and debris would not fall on human habitations. Also, launching of Rockets to the east will provide an advantage of the angular momentum provided by Earth's rotation.
Features of GSAT-11
Lift of Mass: 5854 kg
Orbital Location: 74o E
Spacecraft Power: 32 user beams (Ku-band) & 8 Hub beams (Ka-band)
Throughout data rate: 16 Gigabits per second
Mission life: 15 Years
- According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the weight of GSAT-11 is around 5,854 kg. It will play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country. Let us tell you that till now India's largest satellite is GSAT-11.
- It will be used to provide high speed internet in far-flung areas of the country and also known as BIG BIRD.
- The satellite is designed to boost the reach, speeds and capacity in India's commercial telecom sector and also it will help to meet the country's growing mobile and internet usage in households, businesses and public organisations.
- GSAT-11 is designed lifetime for more than 15 years and is the next generation "high throughput" communication satellite configured around ISRO's I-6K Bus.
- It has 40 transponders and each solar panel is more than 4 meters long.
- Initially the satellite would be placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and subsequently be raised to Geostationary Orbit by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor on-board the satellite.
- So far, five Antenna configurations of INSAT GSAT group have been installed in this satellite.
- There is no doubt that this satellite will meet the needs of broadband connectivity under the Bharatnet project and also provide internet to rural and remote village Panchayats under the Digital India program of the Government of India.
- As we know that the BharatNet project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others.
- This satellite is also capable of using beams several times, which will cover the geographical area of the entire country.
- That is GSAT-11 would be located at 74 East and consists of a series of advanced communication satellite with multi-spot beam antenna coverage over Indian mainland and Islands.
- According to ISRO, with the launch of GSAT-11, people will see significant changes in the speed of the Internet and with the help of this satellite; it is possible to have high bandwidth connectivity of 14 gigabytes per second of data transfer speed.
So now you may have come to know that why GSAT-11 was not launched from India and what are its salient features that differs it from other satellites of India.