India to Launch Communication Satellites in 2016, 17

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Chennai: India will send two telecommunication satellites GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 on Ariane 5 rocket of European Space Agency Aerospace, the space agency said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Arianespace said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has selected it to launch GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 telecommunication satellites on Ariane 5 rockets from French Guiana in 2016 and 2017.

“Weighing approximately 3,400 kg, at launch each, the two spacecraft are planned as replacements for currently-operational relay platforms that provide key national services in multiple frequency bands,”

Though India has been launching telecom satellites with its rockets Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), it does not have a rocket to carry satellites weighing over three tonnes.

According to Arianespace, its next launch its 11th this year is Vega Flight VV03, which is scheduled for December 2 and will carry the LISA Pathfinder scientific space probe for its mission to study the ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

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