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New Delhi, January 16, 2020
India's communication satellite GSAT-30 is all set for launch by Arianespace's Ariane 5 from its spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana in the early hours of Friday, Indian time.
A press release from Arianespace said the Ariane 5 launch vehicle had been delivered to the launch zone at the spaceport, positioning it for lift-off with two passengers on board -- Eutelsat Konnect and GSAT-30.
Riding atop a mobile launch table, Ariane 5 was transferred to the ELA-3 launch zone from the spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where its two passengers had been integrated as part of pre-flight preparations.
With the rollout completed, the final countdown will begin for Thursday’s liftoff at the start of a 1-hour, 55-minute launch window scheduled to open at 6:05 p.m. local time in French Guiana (2.35 am Indian time), the release said.
"For this 251st launch of an Ariane-series vehicle – designated Flight VA251 in Arianespace’s numbering system – the payload lift performance to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) is approximately 7,888 kg. This combined total factors in Eutelsat Konnect and GSAT-30, plus the dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware," it said.
Eutelsat Konnect – which was produced by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat – is riding in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload arrangement, to be released first in the flight sequence at 27 minutes following liftoff.
Weighing 3357 kg, GSAT-30 was 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 will be 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.