Ariane 5 lifts off with India's GSAT-30, Eutelsat Konnect
New Delhi, January 17, 2020
Arianespace's Ariane 5 launch vehicle lifted off from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana on Thursday evening local time (early Friday Indian time) with India's communication satellite GSAT-30 and Eutelsat Konnect.
The vehicle lifted off at 6.05 pm on Thursday local time (2.35 am on Friday, Indian time) as scheduled.
This was the 251st launch of an Ariane-series vehicle – designated Flight VA251 in Arianespace’s numbering system – and it had a payload of approximately 7,888 kg.
Eutelsat Konnect – which was produced by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat – rode in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload arrangement and will be released first in the flight sequence at 27 minutes following liftoff.
Weighing 3357 kg, GSAT-30, designed and manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position 38 minutes into the flight – completing the mission.
GSAT-30 is an operational communication satellite for DTH, television uplink and VSAT services. It is configured on ISRO's enhanced I-3K bus structure to provide communication services from geostationary orbit in C and Ku bands. GSAT-30 derives its heritage from the earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
ISRO said GSAT-30 would serve as replacement for INSAT-4A spacecraft services with enhanced coverage. The communication payload of GSAT-30 is specifically designed and optimized to maximize the number of transponders on the spacecraft bus.
The Dual Gridded Reflector antenna will provide wide coverage in C-band and a Ku-band Gregorian Antenna will provide coverage to Indian mainland and islands.
GSAT-30 will be extensively used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinking and teleport services, digital satellite news gathering (DSNG), DTH television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
It will also provide extended coverage in C-band, which will help television broadcasters beam their programmes over India, Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries and Australia.
This was Arianespace's first launch in 2020.
Since the launch of India’s Apple experimental satellite on Ariane Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 23 satellites and signed 24 launch contracts with ISRO.
"The orbiting of GSAT-30 marks another demonstration of the strong bond uniting Europe and India in space cooperation," Arianespace said.