Insat 4A to launch on 22 December in French Guyana

MUMBAI: Final preparations are on for the liftoff of Indias telecommunications satellite Insat-4A and the European meteorological satellite 2 Meteosat (MSG-2) on an Ariane 5 G rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guyana on 21 December (around 2 am on 22 December India time).

The heaviest satellite in the series, Insat 4A will be orbited by an Ariane 5 Generic vehicle on a dual-payload mission. Insat-4A is in the Kourou Spaceport's S5 satellite preparation facility and is ready for launch following its recent fueling.

The massive S5 facility allows payloads to undergo their complete checkout cycle in one of its high-bay sections  including hazardous operations such as the spacecraft fueling  while additional satellites can be processed simultaneously in building's other high-bay zones.

Insat 4 A is being deployed for direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting. The Tata-Sky Dth service had already booked 12 ku band transponders that would enable entire India coverage.

Use of all the 12 transponders would enable the user to provide 150 channels to each DTH subscriber across.

It is pertinent to note here that Tata-Sky CEO Vikram Kaushik had earlier told that Isro had intimated that Insat 4A, the first in a satellite series crucial to the future of the Tata Sky DTH venture, would be launched on 16 December.

Kalanithi Maran's Sun Direct has booked four - six transponders in the initial phase on 4B or 4C. Insat 4B is likely to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2006, after the launch of 4C.

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