Sriharikota: India on Friday successfully
launched its latest communication satellite GSAT-12 onboard a
powerful variant of homegrown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle,
PSLV-C17, from the spaceport here.
In a textbook launch, Indian Space Research
Organisation`s workhorse PSLV lifted off from the second
launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 4.48 pm
at the end of the 53-hour countdown and placed the 1,410 kg
GSAT-12 into orbit about 20 minutes later.
"I am extremely happy to state that the PSVL-C17
GSAT12 mission is successful. The launch vehicle injected the
satellite very precisely into the intended orbit," a beaming
ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan announced.
On its 18th successful mission in a row, the PSLV
zoomed into cloudy skies as scientists broke into cheers at
the mission control centre here, 90 km from Chennai.
GSAT-12 was injected into an elliptical Transfer Orbit
of 284 km perigee (closest point to Earth) and 21,000 km
apogee (farthest point to Earth).
Subsequently, the onboard Liquid Apogee Motor would be
used to place the satellite in a circular orbit.
GSAT-12, aimed at augmenting the capacity in the INSAT
system for various communication services like tele-education,
tele-medicine and Village Resource Centres, would be
co-located with INSAT-2E and INSAT-4A satellites.
This was the second time in its 19 flights that the
PSLV has been used for launching a communication satellite
after Kalpana-1 in 2002.
ISRO used the most powerful XL configuration with six
extended solid strap-on motors carrying 12 tonnes of solid
propellant as against nine tonnes for the standard PSLV for
today`s flight. A similar configuration was used for launching
India`s maiden Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in 2008.
ISRO chose its reliable launch vehicle PSLV in the
face of failures of two previous GSLV flights in April and
December 2010 that dealt a blow to the missions to place
GSAT-5 and GSAT-5P into orbit causing transponder shortage.
Launch of GSAT-12, equipped with 12 Extended C-band
transponders, is expected to partly meet the country`s growing
demand for transponders in a short turnaround time.
The satellite, with a mission life of about eight
years, and the PSLV together cost about Rs 200 crore.