Communication satellite GSAT-16 was successfully launched on board an Arianespace rocket from Kourou in French Guiana early on 7 December, after a delay of two days due to bad weather.
The satellite with 48 transponders, the largest ever carried by a communication spacecraft built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was injected into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
It was a dual satellite launch with GSAT-16 with a lift-off mass of 3,181 kg ejected into space four minutes after its co-passenger DIRECTTV-14 spacecraft, designed to provide direct-to-home TV broadcasts across the US, was placed in orbit, Arianespace said. After the command and control of the satellite was taken over by its Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka soon after the launch, ISRO said initial checks indicated “normal health” of the satellite.
ISRO said the first orbit raising operation is scheduled on 8 December at around 3:50 a.m. as part of manoeuvres to place the satellite finally in its designated slot at 55 deg East longitude in the Geostationary orbit before being co-located with GSAT-8, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B satellites.
GSAT-16 has 24 C-band, 12 Ku-band and 12 Upper Extended C-band transponders that will boost public and private TV and radio services, largescale Internet and telephone operations. Ku band transponders may be used Prasar Bharati to augment its FreeDish DTH capacity form 77 channels at present to 112 channels.