The Indian Space and Research Organisation, better known as ISRO is scheduled to launch the GSAT-6A communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, at 4:56 PM today.

ISRO’s maiden space rocket GSLV Mk-II (GSLV-F08), carrying communication satellite GSAT-6A weighing 2,140kg, is expected to take off from the second launch pad in Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, at 4.56pm; marking the GSLV’s 12th flight and sixth with an indigenous cryogenic engine. After launch from earth surface, the ISRO GSLV rocket will put the GSAT-6A satellite into orbit around 17 minutes after the rocket’s lift off. The GSAT-6A is a communication satellite is similar to its predecessor GSAT-6, which is a high power S-band communication satellite built on I-2K satellite bus with a mission life of about 10 years.

The key functionality of GSAT-6A will be to provide mobile communication to India through multi beam coverage facility. More specifically, the satellite to be launched today will provide mobile communication through hand-held ground terminals, m diameter unfurlable antenna for a communication link for S-band and a 0.8m fixed antenna for hub communication link in C band frequency that can be useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications. Moreover, it will help to reinforce and strengthen up the communication efficiency for Indian Armed Forces as they widely used satellite-based communication.

Besides communication, the GSAT-6A satellite will also enable ISRO to carry out testing for certain critical systems which will aid the agency’s most ambitious lunar mission – Chandrayaan-2. With the launch of the satellite, the ISRO team will be validating systems including high thrust Vikas engine, which may eventually be used during the launch of Chandrayaan-2. Tests will also be conducted for electro-mechanical actuation system in the place of an electro-hydraulic actuation in an effort to enhance the reliability of the launch vehicle – which isn’t defined yet, but can be used for the lunar mission too.