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October 2018




T h e government has committed ₹ 10,469 crore to ISRO to build 40 rockets over the next 5 years, which includes 10 GSLVs with a launch capacity of 4 tons.

₹ 6,131-crore has been committed for 30 PSLV launches, between 2019-2024. The balance ₹ 4,338 crore is for GSLV launches.


ISRO says it will undertake 31 launches in the next 16 months.

"The space agency has a tight schedule ahead, as we are targeting 9 launches over the next 5 months and 22 missions from February to December in 2019, aiming at 2 per month," ISRO Chairman K. Sivan told reporters while unveiling a bust of Vikram Sarabhai, to mark his 99-birth anniversary. "We have also identified 50 satellites that will be launched over the coming 3 years," Sivan added.

ISRO's next mission will launch 2 British commercial satellites, via a PSLV rocket.

Key missions in the next few months are the launch of GSAT-29 via a GSLV Mk 3 D2 in October to facilitate internet to rural India and GSAT-11 on November 30 by Arianespace.

ISRO's second lunar mission, "Chandrayaan-2" will be on January 3, after its first mission a decade ago in 2008.

"We have also scheduled the launch of GSAT-20 in August next year, which along with the three other satellites, will help in expanding 100 Gbps (Giga bytes per second) of internet connectivity to rural India," he added.

GSAT-32 IN OCT 2019

ISRO will launch GSAT-32 in October 2019 to replace GSAT-6A which stopped communicating a few days after its launch on 29 March 2018. The 2,000-kg GSAT 6A satellite was to complement the GSAT-6 launched in 2015 & help in providing point-topoint communications for military.


GSAT-7A is a communication satellite to be used exclusively by the Indian Air Force, to interlink ground radar stations, ground airbase and, Airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft. The satellite is expected to be launched aboard the GSLV-Mk2 rocket in the second half of 2018.

The GSAT-7 is already in use by the Indian Navy.


ISRO has concluded pre-launch tests on the 5.7 ton GSAT-11 satellite - its heaviest satellite.

GSAT-11 is a High Throughput Satellite (HTS), with 40 Ku-band & Kaband transponders. It will deliver up to 14 Gigabit per second (GBPS) data speeds, providing high-speed internet connectivity to rural places in India, not covered by wired broadband.

The GSAT-11 was earlier scheduled for launch on 25 May. However, after the failure of the GSAT- 6A, which was launched from Sriharikota on 29 March, GSAT-11 was put through additional pre-launch tests.

ISRO also plans to launch the GSAT-29 later, to further augment broadband delivery in rural areas.

ARIANE FOR GSAT-11, 30 & 31

Eutelsat is ordering its new broadband satellite from Thales Alenia, rather than from its joint-venture with California-based ViaSat.

Eutelsat, in a statement said: "The investment in Konnect VHTS (Very High Throughput Satellite) replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat's capex objective of an average of €420 million per annum."

Rick Baldridge, ViaSat's president & COO, explained "ViaSat confirmed it will not be moving forward with Eutelsat on a deal for use of the ViaSat-3 satellite, due to Eutelsat's decision to pursue a local market alternative. As we commented previously, negotiations on the Vi a S a t - 3 deal were h i g h l y complex. While we had hoped to reach an agreement on new capacity over Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), we were never able to get over some of the fundamental principles."

ViaSat also confirmed that the development has no direct impact on existing contracts .


"Arianespace will launch GSAT- 11 on November 30, followed by GSAT- 31 in December and GSAT-30 in May 2019," ISRO Chairman K. Sivan confirmed to the press.

Contrary to earlier reports, ISRO has decided to launch the two heavier satellites GSAT-31 and GSAT- 30 on Ariane-5 to replace INSAT-4CR whose life gets over in January and INSAT-4A, as its life span ends in July 2019.

"Unless we launch the two satellites (GSAT-31 & GSAT-30) before the lifespan of earlier satellites end, we will have no telecast link and DTH services in the country," pointed out Sivan.

INSAT-4CR was launched on September 2, 2007 by ISRO on GSLVF04 from Sriharikota and INSAT-4A was launched from Kourou on December 22, 2005.


The SES-12 satellite was successfully launched on June 4, via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The satellite was deployed about 32 minutes after liftoff.

SES-12, which is designed with wide beams and high throughput beams, will join SES-8 at 95 degrees East to meet the needs of video, fixed data, mobility and government customers across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. The satellite will operate under the authority of the Netherlands. It will replace and augment the services currently being provided on SES's NSS-6 satellite.


Etisalat sold 28.042 % stake in Thuraya Telecommunications for $37 million to Star Satellite Communications, a subsidiary of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat).

Yahsat now owns more than 75% in Thuraya.


Four students from Chennai city have developed what could be the world's lightest satellite. It will be flown on NASA's scientific balloon up to an altitude of 70km.

The first-year engineering students from Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai built the 4cm 'cube' satellite "Jaihind- 1S" with a 3D printed outer casing from polylactic acid (PLA) nylon material, making it lighter than a medium sized egg, at just 33.39 grams.

"We designed the satellite to conduct 3 experiments: Measure 20 weather parameters, test the nylon material in microgravity and track the trajectory while it is being flown. All 3 experiments will be conducted at the same time," said K J Harikrishan, one of the team members. "It cost us ₹ 15,000, so it is also the cheapest satellite," he added.


The Air Force currently tracks space objects larger than 10 centimeters and issues alerts to satellite operators-and other nationsabout potential collisions. 600,000 objects from 1 to 10 centimeters in size are not tracked closely. All of these pose potential catastrophe for the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 satellites currently surrounding the globe. Soon, there will be additional constellations of smaller satellites sent up by SpaceX, OneWeb and other companies. Today, 70 nations have assets operating in space.

Over time, the US Commerce Department will take over space traffic oversight & will adopt "the mindset of a sensible facilitator" for space companies and not act as a traditional regulatory agency. Currently, companies operating in space must work with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communications Communication, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Defense & other agencies for approvals. "The regulatory framework is over 25 years old and no longer meets the burgeoning needs of space markets and technologies," a spokesperson said.


Eutelsat has sold their interest in the EUTELSAT 25B satellite operated at 25.5 degrees East to the co-owner of the satellite - Qatar's satellite company - Es’hailSat, for Euros 135 million. n