NEW DELHI: Isro’s upcoming endeavours – the GSAT-19 and the GSAT-11 satellites – are potential game changers and can revolutionise communications by empowering a digital India and providing internet services and streaming like never before.
Isro is undertaking a mega experiment at India’s rocket port at Sriharikota: a spanking new monster rocket is all set to launch an altogether new class of communications satellite.
Tapan Misra, director of the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, where the GSAT-19 satellite has been designed, calls it “a game changer communications satellite for India”.
If it succeeds, the single GSAT-19 satellite will be equivalent to having a constellation of 6-7 of the older variety of communication satellites in space.
Today, out of a constellation of 41 in-orbit Indian satellites, 13 are communication satellites.
“A truly ‘made in India’ satellite that will empower a digital India that is in the making,” says Misra of GSAT-19.
India’s heaviest rocket till date, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III) that weighs equivalent to the weight of five fully-loaded Boeing Jumbo Jets or as much as 200 fully grown elephants is attracting all the attention.
This is India’s rocket of the future as it will undoubtedly be human rated to carry Indian astronauts likely to be named ‘gaganauts or vyomanauts’.
Former Isro chairman K Kasturirangan, the man who conceived the GSLV Mk-III, confirms it will be India’s vehicle to ferry Indians into space.
On this maiden mission, the GSAT-19 satellite this monster rocket will ferry is in a technological class that has no parallels in the country.
The satellite weighing 3,136 kg is equal to the weight of a single elephant being lofted into space, but this novel satellite promises not to be a ‘white elephant in space’.
As space experts say rockets are like taxis, it is the passenger who is more important and hence in this forthcoming launch even though all eyes are on the GSLV Mk-III, the real focus should be on the unique passenger which is as Misra emphasises “the country’s first satellite capable of providing internet services using a space-based platform”.
Internet services may not be unleashed immediately but what the country is putting together is a capability in place which is very important especially to connect places that are literally off the fibre optic Internet backbone.