MUMBAI: A major milestone was crossed in India's space programme today with the succesful launch of the multi-purpose Insat-3A satellite aboard the Arianespace's Flight 160 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana.
The launch, delayed by a day after a minor anomaly was noticed in the satellite on Wednesday, went on with clockwork precision as the European consortium rocket lifted off according to launch window schedule, carrying Insat-3A and Panamsat's Galaxy XII satellite and injecting them into space.
As Ariane-5 carried out its mission, Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro) chairman Dr K Kasturirangan and other top space scientists, including project director RK Rajangam, who were present at Kourou, expressed their joy over the successful launch, the Press Trust of India reported.
The launch of Insat-3A was called off for the day yesterday after it was observed that the signal strength from one of the two telemetry transmitters was "less than nominal" during the final checks midway through the 11 and a half hours countdown.
Insat-3A is Isro's biggest satellite to date and is the third satellite in the Insat-3 series. It will provide telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology and satellite-aided search and rescue services.
The Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka is scheduled to take control of Insat-3A soon after its injection into Geosynchronous Tranfer Orbit. In the following days, operations like orbit raising manoeuvres to take the satellite into the final Geostationary Orbit, deployment of solar arrays, antennas and solar sail, 3-axes stabilisation, etc., will be conducted from MCF. The MCF will also carry out regular operations and control of the satellite during its design life.
Insat-3A is a multipurpose satellite for providing telecommunication, television broadcasting, meteorology and satellite aided search and rescue services. It carries 12 C-band, 6 upper extended C-band, 6 Ku-band and one search and rescue transponders. The meteorological instruments consist of Very High Resolution Radiometer, a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera and a data relay transponder.
Live Telecast: The launch of Insat-3A from Kourou was telecast live by national broadcaster Doordarshan (DD-1) from 3.59 am (IST).