PTI, Bengaluru: The launch of India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-18 early on Wednesday, onboard the
Arianespace rocket, from Kourou in French Guiana has been deferred by a day due to heavy cross winds, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) said.
“The launch has been postponed by one day due to heavy cross winds,” a senior ISRO official said late on Tuesday night.
The communications satellite will now be launched at 2am on October 6, 24 hours after its initial launch time.Arianespace launch vehicle Ariane-5 VA-231, was set to carry the GSAT-18 along with co-passenger Sky Muster II for the Australian operator nbn (National Broadband Network).
“Due to high altitude winds, decision to postpone #VA231. Tomorrow’s forecast is green. Launch window now set to open on Oct 5 at 20:30 UTC,” Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël tweeted.
The launch has been scheduled now between 2 and 3:15am India time on October 6, it said, adding, “The launcher, with its Sky Muster II and GSAT-18 satellite payloads, remains in a safe standby condition.”
GSAT-18 is designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and Ku-bands.
Weighing 3,404 kg at lift-off, the satellite carries 48 communication transponders to provide services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. It also carries Ku-band beacon to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.
GSAT-18 will be launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
GSAT-18’s co-passenger Sky Muster II, built by SSL (Space Systems Loral) in Palo Alto, California, is aimed at bridging the digital divide, especially in the rural and isolated regions of Australia.