Arianespace launches GSAT-30 successfully

MUMBAI: In the early hours of 17 January 2.35 am IST, Arianespace the commercial arm of the European Space Agency, successfully and flawlessly lifted off its two payloads Eutelsat Konnect and ISRO's GSAT-30, into space from the spaceport of Kourou, French Guiana using its Ariane 5 rocket.

The 51.04 meter tall vehicle used for Arianespace’s VA251 flight had a mass of 780  tonnes and utilised 2.9 million tonnes of thrust from its solid fuel boosters and core engine as it powered its way through the earth’s atmosphere. It broke the sound barrier and was travelling at Mach 1 one minute into the launch.

Almost two tonnes of fuel propellant were burnt per second, taking the rocket on its upward trajectory 70 km above earth in two minutes. Following this, the boosters fell away, with the Vulcan engine now kicking in taking the rocket higher still. Six minutes later this too detached, and the upper stage HM7B engine lit up, keeping the payloads going for another 17 minutes.

28 minutes or so into the flight, and Eutelsat Konnect which is an electric satellite, was separated and placed in orbit 1000 km above the earth’s surface above Africa.

10 minutes later it was the turn of the Indian satellite to be successfully separated to the loud cheers of all present in the control station at the spaceport near south America.

The satellite will now be in the hands of ISRO scientists who will finally take it to its geostationary orbital location over the next month or so.

GSAT 30 is set to replace Insat4A and provide DTH and telecommunications services through the 12 C band and 12 Ku band transponders it has on board.

UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) director P Kunhikrishnan director who was present in Kouru during the launch was evidently happy at the flawless deployment of the satellite into space by Arianespace. Said he: “Isro has opened 2020 successfully with the launch of GSAT-30 by Arianespace; we did the same with GSAT 31 and Arianespace in 2019 as well. GSAT-30 joins the 18 satellite stream of ISRO. What is great, that the entire ISRO team put together the satellite in less than a year.”
He specifically complimented the efforts of GSAT-30 project director V Ramanathan and his team.

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