Kourou: The Indian communications satellite GSAT-18 was successfully put into orbit from Kourou in French Guiana on October 06th after a delay of a day due to bad weather. An Ariane-5 VA-231 rocket belonging to French company Arianespace was used for the liftoff.
GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
The 3,404 kg satellite’s command and control was taken over by ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka immediately after separation from the launch vehicle. In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed to position GSAT-18 at 74 degree East longitude in a Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite’s propulsion system in steps.
GSAT-18’s operational life is about 15 years.
PM congratulated ISRO on the successful launch of GSAT-18 calling it another milestone in India’s space program.