Monday, April 12, 2010

India to Launch Scientific Satellite Thursday

GSAT-4 Stands Between it's Payload Fairing. (ISRO)

The Indian Space Agency are in the final stages of a rocket launch on a satellite delivery mission which the nation hopes will yield new technologies for their young space program.

India also hopes the satellite will help bridge isolated territories together.

The GSLV-D3 (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket is scheduled for lift-off on Thursday from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, located on India's southeastern coastline.

The 164-foot white rocket is a three stage performance vehicle with four liquid strap-on boosters. It's core first stage uses solid propellant, while the upper two stages use liquid fuel.

Lift-off thrust of the newly rated rocket will be 1.47 million pounds of thrust.

Seconds into its launch, the GSLV will head out over the Indian Ocean with it's 2 tonne payload.

The GSLV's payload will be the GSAT-4 scientific satellite and test bed for future technologies for the country of India.

GSAT will carry numerous payloads as it operates from a geostationary orbit located at 82 degrees East longitude.

The satellite will use the powerful Ka-band antenna which will operate at 30 Ghz up and 20 Ghz downlink.

It also will operate it's GAGAN navigational aid payload for earth ships via it's C-band, L1 & L5-bands.

GAGAN, or GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation, is a GPS-based satellite overlay system which receives information via the C-band and relays corrected location data through it's L-bands for a more precise location.

Among the experiments aboard the eight-foot long satellite include the Thermal Control Coating Experiment which will study how certain materials breakdown in the harsh environment of space travel over several years.

The payload will also be a platform in space as it looks at how structures behave during thruster firings on orbit.

Known as the On-board Structural Dynamics Experiment, the experiment will allow ground controllers a look at an slight out of limits moves as the satellites gyro's operate as it's plasma
Indian space officials hope GSAT will operate for greater than seven years, as it joins a collection of eleven geosat's which remain operational.

GSAT-4 will become the 19th Indian satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation.

The country's space agency announced recently that it hopes to launch humans into space and to set off to the planets with their own probes before 2025.

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