Bengaluru: Communication satellite GSAT-30, India’s first space mission in 2020, will launch Friday from French Guiana, an overseas French region in South America. It will be aboard a European Ariane-5 rocket and is scheduled to launch at 2.35 am IST. GSAT-30 will serve as a replacement for INSAT-4A.
The high-throughput 3,357-kg satellite will provide telecommunication services to remote areas and the islands in India. It will service Direct-To-Home (DTH), television uplink, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and cellular connectivity. The payload design has been improved to maximise the number of transponders on the satellite body. This will provide improved coverage and will enable Indian broadcasters to air content in the Middle East, Australia and other parts of Asia.
The satellite will travel along with EUTELSAT KONNECT, a new generation satellite that will provide telecommunication services across Europe and Africa. EUTELSAT is a European satellite operator, and the KONNECT satellite is heavier than the GSAT-30. It will weigh approximately 3,620 kg at liftoff.
The Ariane 5 launch vehicle belongs to the Ariane rocket family of expendable heavy-lift rockets. It was designed by France under the European Space Agency (ESA) and is operated by Arianespace — the operating, sales and marketing arm of the ESA.
Pre-launch event in Paris
Arianespace will host a show in Paris Thursday, featuring a number of individuals from around the world, prior to the launch. Indian singer Sona Mohapatra, YouTube science personality Athena Brensberger and British Broadcaster Sarah Cruddas are expected to attend the event.
“They were seeking an artiste’s perspective and presence at the event, one that is very different from the others there; somebody who is not a space expert but could observe, articulate, provide a general picture to people outside the scientific community of India — especially the youth — of the wonders of science, space and a rocket launch,” Mohapatra told ThePrint.
She will also sing at the event, which is being produced by media group String Theory for Arianespace.
Do you guys remember #Flight250? 🚀🎥
Join us live tomorrow for #Flight251! @sarahcruddas @AstroAthens @sonamohapatra @EloCha19 Mathieu – Ariane expert, @Mamou_Mani & @hcottin will be our spatial guests! ✨https://t.co/okqEYrthWd https://t.co/hxTRSl1YQb #ArianeLive pic.twitter.com/9ZCtBG5jB0
— ArianeGroup (@ArianeGroup) January 15, 2020
This will be the 23rd launch of an ISRO satellite by Arianespace, ISRO’s 41st communication satellite and the 251st launch of an Ariane-series vehicle.
ISRO had earlier confirmed that it is planning to carry out 25 missions in 2020.