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NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is gearing up for the launch of a communication satellite on November 14 that is specifically meant for Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern regions.
Talking to TOI, Isro chairman K Sivan said, “Isro will launch Gsat-29 from Sriharikota on November 14. It is an advancedhighthroughput communication satellite which will have two Ku and Ka operational payloads. The payloads are meant to provide communication services to J&K and northeastern regions under the ‘Digital India’ programme. The high-speed bandwidth will help bridge the digital divide in hinterland.” Sivan said Gsat-29 will be “lifted off by GSLV-MkIII rocket, which will be the second development flight of Isro’s heaviest rocket”.
Gsat29 will also serve as a platform for testing new space technologies. In addition to operational payloads, the Isro chief said the “satellite will also carry three demonstration technologies — Q and V bands, optical communication and a high-resolution camera. These new technologies will be tested for the first time for their use in future space missions”.
The chairman said India’s heaviest satellite Gsat-11 weighing over 5.7 tonnes, which was earlier recalled from French Guiana to check for any possible anomalies, “will now be launched from the European spaceport on December 4”. Gsat-11 is also a highthroughput communication satellite that will help usher in high-speed internet era in the country.
On the country’s highly ambitious Chandrayaan-II mission, Sivan said, “We are targeting to launch the Chandrayaan mission on January 3. If some slippage happens, we have the launch window till February 16. We can launch the mission any day before February 16.”
On lunar payloads, the chairman said, “The orbiter, lander and rover were being tested for the lunar mission. In fact, three-stage tests were conducted on the lander since last month. Some corrective measures were taken after the initial test. During the final phase of the lander actuator performance test, all on board systems like computer, software and propulsion systems were together tested at the Isro centre in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu and all the tests were successful.”
The assembling of the GSLV Mk III rocket, which will carry the lunar spacecraft, that usually takes 50 days, “will be done well in time before January 3”, the chairman said.