August 2017


India's latest communications satellite - GSAT 17 was launched on June 29 (2:45am IST), from Ariane Launch Complex No 3 (ELA 3) at Kourou, a French territory located in North-Eastern coast of South America.

The same rocket simultaneously carried Arabsat's Hellas Sat-3.


G S A T - 1 7 strengthens ISRO's current fleet of 17 t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s satellites.

n 2017, ISRO has planned the launch of 5 communication satellites. Three have already been sent into space in rapid succession: the GSAT-9 (or South Asia Satellite) in May, followed by the GSAT-19 on the Mk III and now the GSAT-17 this month. Cartosat-2 (a mapping and Earth resources satellite) was launched in June 2017 on a PSLV rocket, along with 30 other small satellites.


The GSAT-6A, intended for the defence services, will be launched onboard a GSLV Mk II rocket, possibly in September this year. The GSAT- 11, which will be the heaviest communication satellite built thus far by ISRO (weighing about 5.8 tonnes) is expected to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket at the end of 2017.


Weighing 3,477 Kgs, the GSAT-17 is one of the largest satellites manufactured by ISRO. However, by international standards, it is a medium sized satellite.

India's GSLV rocket can loft into geostationary orbit satellites weighing less than 4,000 Kgs.

In comparison, the Ariane rocket launched approximately 10,177 kg, as the combined payload of the GSAT-17 & Hellas Sat-3.


GSAT-17 is a communications satellite built on ISRO's I-3K extended platform. It carries:

 24 Normal C Band Transponders

 12 Upper Ext C Band Transponders

 2 Lower Ext C Band Transponders

 2 Fwd and 1 Rtn MSS links

 1 Data Relay/Search & Rescue Transponder


GSAT-17 is located at 93.5 deg East, along with the INSAT 3A/4b & GSAT-15, where it will provide backup and expansion capacity for the older satellites.

Director Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Dr K Sivan said "GSAT-17 is a need of the hour for ISRO and India as it provides the continuity in services of ageing two satellites, as well as augmenting our transponder capability, and widening our horizon to mobile satellite services as well as to Antarctica areas."


Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN is a two-payload "condosat" produced by Thales Alenia Space for Hellas Sat and Inmarsat.

Once in orbit at 39 degrees East, the Hellas Sat 3 component will deliver DTH & telecom services, while the Inmarsat S EAN component provides the satellite portion of Inmarsat's new European Aviation Network.