New Delhi (Sputnik) – The GSAT-17 is the third satellite to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in June. The Cartosat-2E was sent to space June 23 and the GSAT-19 on June 5, using the GSLV MK III, India's heaviest rocket.
"GSAT-17, to be deployed from Ariane 5's lower passenger position, was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to strengthen its current fleet of 17 telecommunications satellites. The spacecraft's separation will occur approximately 41 minutes after lift-off," Arianespace said.
The 3,477-kilogram GSAT-17 is a communication satellite configured around an I-3K extended bus that carries payloads in a normal C-band, and extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services. "GSAT-17 also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites," ISRO said.
India has mastered lightweight satellite launch with the help of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), but it needs foreign rockets to send communication satellites into space.
"We will be working on the replacement satellite for IRNSS-1. Our plan is to have two Mark-II and two Mark-III launches apart from eight to 10 PSLV launches per year," A. S. Kiran, the ISRO chairman, told reporters after the successful launch of PSLV-C38.