Sriharikota: An Indian GSLV-F11 rocket with a two-tonne GSAT-7A military communication satellite lifted-off from the second launch pad here on Wednesday evening.
At 4.10 p.m. the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark II, numbered GSLV-F11, by the Indian space agency, rose into the sky with a deep-throated growl, breaking free of its shackles.
The rocket rapidly rushed towards the blue skies with a thick orange flame at its tail. The rocket will sling the GSAT-7A, weighing 2,250 kg, that would beef up the communication capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) over its eight-year life span.
With this satellite, the IAF will be able to link its various ground radar stations, its airbases and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The GSAT-7A satellite may also control the IAF’s unmanned aerial vehicles and drones.
The GSLV is a three-stage/engine rocket. The core of first stage is fired with solid fuel while the four strap-on motors by liquid fuel. The second is the liquid fuel and the third is the cryogenic engine.
Meanwhile, the Indian space agency is facing an increased demand for strategic satellites. “There is increased demand for satellites from strategic sectors. About six/seven satellites are planned to be built,” a senior official of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS, preferring anonymity.
In November, ISRO put into orbit the sharp-eyed HysIS satellite for a range of applications and the data it generated by it will also be accessible by the Indian military.
In 2013, ISRO had sent up the GSAT7, or Rukmini, communication satellite, for use by the Indian Navy.