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India successfully injects GSAT-8 satellite into space

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, May 21, IRNA -- India on Saturday successfully injected latest communication satellite GSAT-8 by Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana to give a boost to direct-to-home services in the country.

GSAT-8 was injected into space by European launcher Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket which lifted-off at 0208 hour IST (Indian Standard Time), with Japan's ST-2 spacecraft as co-passenger.

Weighing 3,100 kg at lift-off, GSAT-8 is one of the heaviest and high-powered satellites built by the Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation, pti reported. An ISRO team, which witnessed the launch, expressed delight over the successful mission.

'I am extremely happy to announce that ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan near Bangalore has confirmed the reception of signals from GSAT-8 and taken charge of the command and control of GSAT-8 immediately after its injection into the geo-stationary transfer orbit,' ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

'…This (the launch) is another great moment for us…,' he said.

Radhakrishnan said the user community in India was looking forward for the operationalisation of the 24 high-power Ku band transponders into the Indian National Satellite system.

ISRO officials said the launch was doubly gratifying as the space agency had lost two satellites last year in two unsuccessful GSLV missions launched from the home soil. ISRO was desperately looking to augment transponder capacity, which is in great demand.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh today congratulated the Department of Space for the successful launch of communication satellite GSAT-8, which will give a boost to direct-to-home services in the country.

The Prime Minister rang up Space Secretary K Radhakrishnan at the launch site and conveyed his greetings.

Built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Company, ST-2 would be operated by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd.

GSAT-8 carried 24 transponders to augment India’s Ku-band relay capabilities – primarily for direct-to-home TV broadcast services – with a coverage zone including the entire Indian subcontinent.

Additionally, GSAT-8 carried the two-channel GAGAN system for aircraft navigation assistance over Indian airspace and adjoining areas.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30395623

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