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GSAT-10 getting ready for launch next month


The Ariane-5 rocket (left) and a GSAT payload.

KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA (BNS): India's GSAT-10 telecommunications satellite is getting ready for launch from the European spaceport in French Guiana next month.

The ISRO-built satellite has been put through its paces during pre-flight preparations at the spaceport in French Guiana, including a solar panel deployment test, European space consortium Arianespace, which will orbit GSAT-10, said.

The check out test involves extension of the satellite's multi-segment solar panels, validating their apt functioning before they are definitively stowed against the satellite in the final liftoff configuration.

GSAT-10, with a lift-off mass of 3400-kg and carrying 30 transponders, including 12 in Ku band, and a GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) payload, is set to lift off on board an Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on September 21.

With a minimum operational life of 15 years, the satellite will augment the growing need for transponders and provide communication services and augment that of the existing ones.

The entire cost of the mission is pegged at Rs. 750 crore, including launch services cost.

The GAGAN payload the satellite will carry has been designed to support Indian government's implementation of a satellite-based regional capability to assist aircraft navigation over Indian airspace and in adjoining areas.

The first GAGAN payload was carried aboard ISRO's GSAT-8 spacecraft, also orbited by Arianespace on an Ariane 5 mission in May 2011.

The September launch will be the fifth mission for Arianespace's Ariane 5 heavy-lift workhorse vehicle this year. The rocket will also carry the Astra 2F communications satellite for Luxembourg during the flight.

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