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With new Vikas engine, GSAT-6A looks to soar

With new Vikas engine, GSAT-6A looks to soar

The GSLV-F08 rocket and the passenger satellite blasted off at 4:56 p.m. from the second launch pad at India's Sriharikota launch site. ISRO in its statement said that the GSAT-6A satellite would provide a thrust to mobile communication through multi-beam coverage facility. Today's launch will add another feather in ISRO's cap as it is mastering the technique of making home-made communication satellites. This launch also marks the twelfth flight of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F08, and its sixth flight with indigenous Cryogenic upper stage.

The GSAT-6A, similar to GSAT-6 (an advanced communication satellite providing S-band communication services in the country and launched in August 2015), is a high power S-band communication satellite configured around I-2K bus. The second stage will test the improved Vikas engine that has been in the works for three years.

As per the details, GSAT-6A weighs approximately 2,066 kg and was built on a cost of 270 crore INR. The recently launched rocket had two major improvements over others. Presently, India's ISRO uses Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to put foreign satellites into orbit after charging a certain fee.

Its first stage has a core powered by solid propellant with the aid of four liquid propellant strap-on boosters that do not separate.

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The second stage was powered by a new high thrust Vikas engine and instead of electro-hydraulic actuation system in the second stage, an electro mechanical actuation system was used.

This is ISRO's last launch of the financial year and a navigation satellite is set to be launched after the next fiscal year begins.

That launch included 28 satellites from foreign countries and the successful mission had put behind the rare setback ISRO suffered after the failure of the PSLV-C39 mission in August past year.

"Roughly 17 minutes after GSLV-MK II rocket lifts off, the communication satellite was placed into the geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO)".