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Ariane rocket to carry ISRO-built GSAT-24 satellite on June 22

The French Ariane 5 rocket will launch GSAT-24, an Indian communication satellite manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for satellite television service provider TataSky, into orbit on June 22. The launch of the four-ton GSAT-24, code-named ‘VA257’ would take place from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

GSAT-24 will deliver high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services after it is launched into geostationary orbit. The launch service provider, Arianespace, tweeted a photo of the satellite’s container being unloaded from a military transport plane, saying, ‘We’ll let you know once the beast is awake’.

According to India’s state-run Department of Space, this is the first demand-driven communication satellite mission of ISRO’s commercial branch, New Space India Limited (NSIL).

NSIL was formed in March 2019 and given the task of carrying out operational satellite missions on a ‘demand driven’ basis. It is in charge of building, launching, owning and operating the satellite, as well as providing services to its committed customers.

NSIL will receive the four-ton class Ku-band satellite manufactured by ISRO as part of the GSAT-24 project and will launch it utilising the Ariane-5 rocket controlled by Arianespace.

GSAT-24’s whole satellite capacity will be leased to Tata Sky, a long-term customer, to suit their DTH application demands. NSIL has reached essential agreements with Tata Sky for the use of the satellite capacity on board GSAT-24, as well as M/s Arianespace for launch services. NSIL will own and operate the GSAT-24 satellite on a commercial basis. It will cover the whole cost of the GSAT-24 satellite mission.

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While India utilises its own rockets to launch indigenously manufactured satellites for national needs and customer-made satellites, it also employs the French launcher Ariane to complete specific missions from a foreign land.

GSAT-24 will be the 25th Indian satellite orbited by Arianespace, demonstrating the two companies’ long-standing relationship. India’s relationship with launch provider Arianespace dates back to 1981 when the Indian satellite APPLE was launched by an Ariane 1 rocket. APPLE was an experimental communication satellite created by ISRO.


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