GSAT-9 Satellite Launch in July

Published: 20th February 2016 06:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2016 06:21 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The launch of GSAT-9 communication satellite in July this year will mark ISRO’s first encounter with electric propulsion for satellite station-keeping, ISRO officials said here on Friday.

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mk II (GSLV-Mk II) will put GSAT-9 in the orbit, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.    Nowadays, ISRO satellites carry liquid fuel and oxidiser on board to power thrusters for adjusting orbits and other station-keeping manoeuvres.

The fuel, however, takes up almost half the mass of a satellite.    Replacing it with electric propulsion will enable the space agency to enhance the satellite’s life by at least four years and increase payload capability. The life of a 2,000-2,500 kg GSAT satellite is 10-12 years now. ISRO had earlier planned the GSAT-9 launch in 2017.

As part of its plans to scale up number of launches to at least two a month, ISRO is hoping to commission the second vehicle assembly complex at Sriharikota by next year. This will enable the space agency to speed up the launch process, Kiran Kumar said.


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