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May 21, 2011 at 07:42pm IST

GSAT-8 launched, to boost DTH services

New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organistaion (ISRO) successfully launched it's three-ton satellite GSAT-8 from French Guyana as India slept in the early hours of Saturday. Incidentally, this is one of the largest satellites that India has developed.

The satellite boasts of 24 transponders, meant to boost television broadcasting, especially Direct To Home services, radio networking and other satellite-based services in India. The payload GAGAN boosts GPS signals over India, sure to benefit airport authorities.

Although a completely indigenous satellite, India had to rely on the French Guyana space agency Arianespace for the launch as ISRO's satellite launch vehicles are only capable of launching 1 Ton or 2 Ton categories satellite.

The GSAT-8 was airlifted from Bangalore to French Guyana for it's launch where it underwent successful check-up operation before final integration with the launch vehicle.

"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.

With additional information from PTI

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