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 GSAT-20 |

 GSAT-20

Context:

∙ NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm, will launch GSAT-20 satellite on-board SpaceX’s Falcon-9 during the second quarter of 2024.

About the GSAT-20

∙ It is, weighing 4700 kg, a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) with Ka-Ka-band which is fully owned, operated and funded by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

∙ It was recently renamed as GSAT-N2.

∙ It will be the second ‘demand driven’ satellite launch enabled by NSIL.

Significance:

∙ It is a high-capacity communication satellite that is meant to offer broadband  services,  including In-flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) services.

∙ It offers Pan-India coverage including Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands, along with an HTS capacity of nearly 48 Gbps and has been specifically designed to meet the demanding service needs of remote and unconnected regions.

Why Falcon 9 of SpaceX?

∙ GSAT-20 weighs about 4,700 kg, much heavier than launch capacity of ISRO’s most powerful rocket, LVM-3.

∙ For its heavier satellites, weighing more than 4,000 kg, India had been depending on Arianespace’s heavy launch vehicle Ariane-5.

∙ However, it was retired and its successor Ariane-6 is yet to make its debut.

∙ Typically, communication satellites are launched into space at an orbit that is 170 km x 36,000 km (also known as Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit or GTO).

∙ India’s GSLV and LVM3 rockets are designed and reliably proven to deliver payloads into such a highly elliptical (egg-shaped) orbit.

∙ GSLV can deliver around 2250 kg to GTO

∙ LVM3 can deliver 4000 kg to GTO.

∙ However, GSAT-20 is beyond the payload capacity of India’s operational rockets.

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