The last Indian communications satellite, GSAT-31, was successfully launched by the European launch services provider, the Arianespace rocket from French Guiana in the early hours of Wednesday.
Taking off from Ariane Launch Complex in Kourou, a French territory located on the northeast coast of South America at 2.31 am (IST), the Ariane-5 vehicle injected GSAT-31 into orbit in an impeccable flight that lasted approximately 42 minutes. I am very pleased with the successful launch of the GSAT-31 spacecraft aboard the Ariane-5, “said the director of the Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), S. Pandian, shortly after the launching.
“Congratulations to Arianespace for the successful launch and accurate injection of the satellite into orbit,” he added.
The GSAT-31 is a “high power” communication satellite with Ku band, and will serve and replace some of the satellites that will expire soon, he said later.
The Ariane-5 vehicle (flight VA247) also carried the Saudi geostationary satellite 1 / Hellas Sat 4 together with GSAT-31.
GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane-5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (closest point to the Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,850 km, inclined at an angle of 3.0 degrees relative to the equator, ISRO said in a statement after the launch.
After the separation of Ariane-5, the two solar panels of GSAT-31 were implemented automatically in rapid succession and the ISRO Master Control Facility in Hassan in Karnataka assumed command and control of GSAT-31 and found that its parameters of health were normal, he said.