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July 2017




On June 1, an Ariane-5 rocket launched its dual-satellite payload of ViaSat-2 and EUTELSAT 172B into geostationary transfer orbit.


ViaSat-2 was the first to be released. Its a huge Ka band broadband satellite with a lift-off mass of 6,418 kg. it will be located at 70 degrees West.

Its broadband delivery footprint will cover North and Central America, plus the Caribbean, northern South America, and the aeronautical and maritime routes in the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe.


The 3,551 kg EUTELSAT 172B has been positioned at 172 deg. East, covering Asia-Pacific from Alaska to Australia, delivering increased capacity for fast-growing applications that include in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video distribution and government services. It is an all electric telecommunications satellite.


On 23 June, ISRO's PSLV-C38 successfully launched the 712 kg Cartosat-2, a 15 kg NIUSAT satellite from Nurul Islam University, Tamil Nadu, & 28 international satellites from: USA (10), United Kingdom (3), Belgium (3), Italy (3), Austria (1), Chile (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (1), France (1), Germany (1), Japan (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1) and Slovakia (1).

With this successful launch, the PSLV has launched a total of 209 international satellites.


Both atomic clocks on India's first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A have failed. The clocks provide critical timing signals for the satellite to provide location and navigational services.

Reports are that 2 more atomic clocks on other IRNSS sats have also started showing abnormalities thereby taking the total number of failed clocks to five.

Hence as a precaution and also to extend the operational life of satellites, the ISRO is running the NavIC system with one clock switched on instead of two. If the running clock fails then the standby clocks will be switched on. The initial plan was to keep 2 clocks in the satellite on while keeping the third one on standby.

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is similar to the GPS (Global Positioning System) of the US, Glonass of Russia, Galileo of Europe and China's Beidou. During the Kargil war, America had refused to provide high resolution GPS signals, necisitating India to develop and deploy its own IRNSS.

The ₹ 1,420 crore Sat nav system consists of 9 satellites: 7 in orbit and as 2 standby.

The IRNSS-1A replacement satellite will be launched in July or August. There are also plans to expand the NavIC system by increasing the 7 satellites to 11.


After more than a year's delay by the International Launch Services (ILS), the EchoStar XXI mobile satellite was successfully launched on June 8, 2017, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A state-of-the-art S-band Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) satellite with Ka-band feeder links, EchoStar XXI, will be located at the 10.25 degrees East.

EchoStar-21 was required to be operational last year in compliance with its EU-issued licence to operate. The satellite is designed to supply connectivity to mobile and cellular devices across Europe.


The ABS-3A satellite located at 3° West, will host a DTH platform for Nigeria, from July 25, 2017.

The DTH platform will initially offer 100 TV channels & the number is expected to grow to 150 soon after. n