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India's GSAT-8 satellite arrives at French Guiana spaceport

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GSAT-8 is unloaded from the An-124 cargo aircraft at Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport in French Guiana. An Arianespace photo

CAYENNE (BNS): India's large communication satellite GSAT-8, ready to lift off on board an Ariane 5 rocket next month, arrived at the European spaceport in French Guiana Monday.

The satellite arrived at the Rochambeau International Airport near the capital city of Cayenne aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft, Arianespace said.

The dual-purpose satellite, also designated INSAT-4G, will be launched by the European space transportation company on board its Ariane 5 rocket.

The satellite is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders for telecommunications purposes, and also carries a navigation payload called GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation).

If the launch becomes a success, India will place its first GAGAN payload in orbit.

The GAGAN navigation payload was originally proposed to be flown with the GSAT-4 satellite in April 2010, but the mission remained incomplete as the indigenous GSLV rocket carrying the satellite failed to reach its designated orbit.

The GSAT-8 satellite, to be launched next month, will have a liftoff mass of 3,150 kg and is designed for a mission life of 12 years.

Arianespace will conduct the launch under a contract from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It will also launch another Indian satellite, the GSAT-10, this year.

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ISRO  GSAT-8  Arianespace  
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