After weather conditions delayed its launch from Kourou in French Guiana for two days, India’s communication satellite, GSAT-16, was finally launched successfully at 0210 hrs IST on Sunday by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle VA221 of the European Arianespace.
“Ariane-5 precisely placed GSAT-16 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) after a flight of 32 minutes and 20.4 seconds. ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka started acquiring the signal from the satellite at 0241 hrs IST and the commanding of the satellite was initiated. Initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite,’’ ISRO said in a statement.
GSAT 16 when initiated into its final orbit over the next few days will join 10 other Indian communication satellites in the INSAT programme which currently provides connectivity in Asia-Pacific region.