Chennai: India is set to launch its latest communication satellite GSAT-16 onboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana next month.
“GSAT-16 communication satellite would be launched onboard Ariane 5 from French Guiana in the early hours of December 4 (Dec 5 in Indian time), a senior Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official was quoted as saying to PTI on Wednesday.
The official added that the exact time of the launch would be announced soon.
GSAT-16 will be the 11th among GSAT series of Indian communication satellites and will have a mission life of more than 12 years.
GSAT-16 is similar to GSAT-15 with each satellite weighing 3,150 kg and having power generation capacity of 6.8 kW.
According to the Indian space agency, the spacecraft's commercial payload includes transponders in Ku and C-band and the satellite is aimed at further augmenting communication services in the country.
The spacecraft would be joined by its co-passenger --DIRECTV-14, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DIRECTV.
Meanwhile, ISRO is also gearing up for the experimental launch of GSLV Mark III, through which the space agency intends to study ascent phase of the rocket as well as the recovery of a human capsule, after it lands in the sea.
GSLV Mark III is expected to be launched with the crew module in mid-December.
GSLV-Mk III is 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes and is designed as a three-stage vehicle.
ISRO officials said that the experimental flight would not launch a satellite and would be passive in the upper stage without the cryogenic stage adding it is also the first step towards India's ambitious future Human Space Flight proposal.
(With PTI inputs)