GK: ISRO’S GSAT-29 GSLV-MKIII SET TO LIFT OFF
- GSAT-29 is configured around ISRO’s Enhanced I-3K Bus and will be the payload for second developmental flight of GSLV-MkIII.
- It carries Ka x Ku multi-beam and optical communication payloads for the first time. The mission targets for Village Resource Centres (VRC) in rural areas to bridge the digital divide.
- ISRO is readying itself to put communication satellite GSAT-29 on its heavy-lift vehicle, the GSLV-MkIII
- The spacecraft as well as the vehicle are important to the space agency and its road map.
- ISRO is also preparing for a PSLV mission on November 26 to launch HySIS, a new variant of Earth observation satellites, along with 20-30 small commercial satellites.
- One significance of the GSAT-29 mission is that an Indian spacecraft will be flown after about seven months: the last one was the IRNSS-1I launched on April 12.
- It would be ISRO’s second communication satellite mission of 2018.
- It had launched another communication satellite, GSAT-6A, on March 29 but lost it in space a day later.
- The subsequent post-mortems of the 6A mission and the recall of the 5,400-kg GSAT-11 satellite from Guiana before its launch have also pushed back ISRO’s ambitious plan to have a mission a month.
- The GSAT-29 satellite itself is one of the planned Indian HTS quartet.
- The HTSs or high throughput satellites are being sent out to provide a vastly improved and faster Internet connectivity. GSAT-19, the first of the series, was sent up in June 2017 from Sriharikota.
- The third and ISRO’s heaviest to date, GSAT-11, awaits a scheduled launch on December 4 on a European space vehicle, Ariane-5, from French Guiana.
- GSAT-11 was brought back from French Guiana to Bengaluru in April this year for additional tests and was re-transported last month for a confirmed launch.
- ISRO had later said it did not want to take risks with such an advanced and costly satellite as GSAT-11 — put at 1,200 crore, including the launch fee of Arianespace.