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India's GSAT-16 satellite readies for launch from French Guiana

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GSAT-16 during its pre-launch checkout process. An Arianespace photo

PARIS (BNS): The ISRO-built telecommunications satellite GSAT-16 is being readied for launch from the European spaceport in French Guiana on December 4.

The satellite has been fueled at the spaceport for its launch by the European workhorse Ariane-5 heavy-lift rocket, Arianespace announced on Thursday.

The satellite will have a lift-off mass of 3,150 kg. It will carry Ku- and C-band transponders to support and further augment communication services, including public and private television and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations, across India.

The new satellite will replace the INSAT-3E satellite which became disfunctional in March this year.

ISRO had originally planned to launch GSAT-16 in mid-2015, but preponed the launch date following the decommissioning of the INSAT-3E in April this year.

The Government had allocated Rs 865 crore for the GSAT-16 mission in 2013.

The satellite will be accompanied by another payload, the DIRECTV 14 communications satellite built by California-based Space Systems/Loral.

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