The satellite was onboard Ariane-5 VA246, which blasted off from Kourou Launch Zone in French Guiana at 20:37 GMT. The 5,854-kg satellite, almost double the biggest one built or launched by Isro till date, was launched aboard the European launch vehicle Ariane 5 ECA.
The heavy-duty Ariane-5 vehicle was also carrying GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
Once this big bird is in the space and starts operations, satellite-based broadband will become a reality in India. Besides, it will also significantly contribute towards bridging the divide between digital urban and rural India and will enable the next generation application such as in-flight connectivity, says Isro. Currently, India has nearly 450 million internet users.
GSAT-11 would play a vital role in providing broadband services across the country and provide a platform to demonstrate new generation applications, Isro said.
“GSAT-11 will boost the broadband connectivity to rural and inaccessible Gram Panchayats in the country coming under the Bharat Net Project, which is part of Digital India Programme,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said. The Bharat Net Project aims to enhance the public welfare schemes like e-banking, e-health, e-governance among others.
He said GSAT-11 will act as a forerunner to all future high throughput communication satellites. “Today’s successful mission has boost confidence of the entire team,” Sivan added.
GSAT-11 is a next-generation high throughput communication satellite configured around Isro’s I-6K Bus, and its designed lifetime is more than 15 years. It was initially planned to be launched on May 25, but Isro rescheduled the launch citing the need for additional technical checks.
The satellite would be placed in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It will be subsequently raised to the Geostationary Orbit by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor onboard the satellite.