India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-31 successfully launched by European launch services provider- Arianespace’s rocket
India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully launched by European launch services provider- Arianespace’s rocket from Kourou Launch Base in French Guiana on February 6, 2019. The Ariane-5 vehicle (Flight VA247) also carried Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 along with GSAT-31. After a 42-min flight, GSAT-31 separated from the Ariane-5 in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,850 km, inclined at an angle of 3.0 degree to the equator. After separation from Ariane-5, the two solar arrays of GSAT-31 were automatically deployed in quick succession and ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-31 and found its health parameters normal. The GSAT-31 is a high power communication satellite with Ku-band and will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands. It has an operational life of over 15 years & will offer seamless services by replacing the ageing INSAT-4CR satellite. GSAT-31 is India’s 40th communication satellite.