While most of India was sleeping, ISRO has witnessed yet another landmark achievement. India’s heaviest satellite GSAT-11, that would boost broadband services in the country, was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from the French Guiana in the early hours of Wednesday.

Also called the “Big Bird” was successfully launched into space today from the French spaceport of Kourou in South America. The satellite, launched at 2.07 am (IST), the Ariane-5 vehicle injected the GSAT-11 into the orbit in a flawless flight lasting about 33 minutes.

ISRO’s heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite GSAT-11 was successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana during the early hours today. – Indian space agency

The lift-off of GSAT-11 and a South Korean co-passenger satellite on European pace vehicle Ariane 5 VA-246 was watched and cheered by the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization K. Sivan. Commenting on the post-launch Dr. Sivan remarked that it will meet most of the requirements of providing broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible village panchayats.

The GSAT-11 is going to be the “richest space asset” for India. The satellite as marked has 38 spot beams as well as eight sub-beams, which speculated to cover the entire country; including the remote places. The satellite will help provide satellite-based internet to remote places where cable-based internet cannot reach. The satellite, weighing 5854 kg, is the heaviest Indian-made equipment that has been put into the orbit.

GSAT-11, described by the space agency as a giant satellite, is the heaviest ever built by ISRO. The new ‘big bird’ adds 40 more transponders, 32 in the Ku band and eight in the Ka-band being introduced newly in an Indian satellite. Indian Internet users are estimated at over 450 million, apart from various businesses, bank ATM services, and public organizations, with a growing appetite for ever speedier and better broadband services.

GSAT-11 is a next-generation communication satellite configured around ISRO’s I-6K Bus, and its designed lifetime is more than 15 years. The satellite will be primarily placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit and later, taken to the Geostationary Orbit by firing the on-board Liquid Apogee Motor. It is now a part of ISRO’s new family of high-throughput communication satellite fleet that will drive the country’s Internet broadband from space to untouched areas.

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