India launches communication satellite GSAT-31 onboard European rocket
India launched its latest communication satellite GSAT-31 on a European launch services provider Arianespace rocket from Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 6:01 p.m. on Tuesday (local time), according to a press release by Arianespace.
"The GSAT-31 successfully launched by Ariane5 from French Guiana. After a 42-min flight, GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage," the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said in a statement.
Commenting on the satellite launch, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan reportedly said: "GSAT-31 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and coverage. It will provide communication services to Indian mainland and island."
Weighing about 2,535 kg, the satellite will be used for supporting VSAT SAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) networks, which is a satellite communications system that serves home and business users. Besides, it will also help television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH (direct to home) television services, cellular back haul connectivity and many such applications.
"It gives me great pleasure on the successful launch of GSAT-31 spacecraft on board Ariane-5, this is the third mission for ISRO in 2019. Congratulation to Arianespace on the successful launch and precise injection of satellite into the orbit," director of ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Pandian was quoted as saying at Kourou soon after the launch.
According to media reports, GSAT-31 is the country's 40th communication satellite which is configured on ISRO's enhanced I-2K Bus, utilizing the maximum "bus capabilities" of this type. This satellite will augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit, ISRO said.
With a mission life of around 15 years, the satellite will provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over large oceanic region, comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, using a wide band transponder.