Bengaluru: India's latest communication satellite GSAT-16 will be launched early tomorrow from Kourou in French Guiana after it was deferred due to inclement weather at the launch base, ISRO said today.
“Launch is rescheduled on early morning of Dec 06, at 02:09 hrs (IST) from French Guiana,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on its website. ISRO had last night announced that due to inclement weather, the launch of GSAT-16 onboard Ariane 5 VA221 which was scheduled for 02.08 am today (IST) had been deferred to a later date.
GSAT-16 is designed to augment the national space capacity in communication services. In the dual satellite mission, along with GSAT-16, DIRECTV-14, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DIRECTV to provide direct-to-home television broadcasts across the US, is also being launched.
With lift-off mass of 3,181 kg, GSAT-16 is configured to carry a total of 48 communication transponders, the largest number of transponders carried by a communication satellite developed by the ISRO so far. Facing capacity crunch, ISRO has leased 95 transponders on foreign satellites mainly for the use of private TV broadcasters.
The satellite will boost public and private TV and radio services, large-scale Internet and telephone operations. GSAT-16, which would replace INSAT-3E, decommissioned prematurely in April, has a designated on orbit operational life of 12 years. It will be the 18th satellite to be launched by Arianespace for ISRO.