- May 2, 2011
The satellite will be launched at 130 hours on the night of 20-21 May on board an Ariane-V rocket.
Prior to that, Doordarshan’s national channel will telecast a five-minute film on the satellite, GSAT-8 Corridor of Communication, on 20 May at 8.30 pm and again five minutes before the live telecast.
The indigenously built 3.1-tonne (3,100 kg) satellite has 24 Ku-band transponders for communication and broadcasting services, according to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan.
Within 30 minutes after the launch, Ariane will deploy the heavy satellite in an elliptical geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and the space agency's master control facility (MCF) at Hasan in Karnataka, about 180 km from this tech hub, will take over its command and control.
"The satellite will be gradually put in the 36,000 km geosynchronous orbit over the following three days (May 21-23) and its antenna and solar panels will be deployed. The MCF will also test and monitor the health parameters of the payloads by June 1. It will be available for DTH services from next month," Radhakrishnan said.
Along with GSAT-8, the space agency is sending the global position system (GPS) aided geo augmented navigation (Gagan) to improve the accuracy of the proposed Indian global navigation satellite system (GNSS), having a constellation of seven satellites.
The space agency is implementing the Rs.7.74 million Gagan (sky) project in three phases in partnership with the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) to provide navigation system for all phases of flight over the Indian airspace and in the adjoining areas.
When fully operational over the next couple of years, Gagan will provide navigation support to safety-to-life operations and meet the performance requirements of international civil aviation regulatory bodies.
"The launch of Gagan's first payload has been delayed by a year as the original spacecraft was lost in the crash of the geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-D3) April 15, 2010, that was to carry it along with GSAT-4," Radhakrishnan admitted.