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ISRO: India’s GSAT-18 Communication Satellite successfully put into orbit

An Indian communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully put into orbit by Ariane 5 rocket belonging to French company Arianespace on Thursday, Indian space agency said

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October 6, 2016: An Indian communication satellite GSAT-18 was successfully put into orbit by Ariane 5 rocket belonging to French company Arianespace on Thursday, Indian space agency said.

The rocket lifted off from its spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana).

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According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) its Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took control of GSAT-18 and performed the initial orbit raising activities by firing the motors onboard the satellite.

The satellite was placed in a circular geostationary orbit, ISRO said.

GSAT-18 is India’s latest communication satellite with 48 transponders that receive and transmit communication signals.
The 3,404 kg satellite will provide services in normal C-band, upper extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum.

The satellite carries Ku-band beacon as well to help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.

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Its designed in-orbit operational life is about 15 years.

“It is now the fifth time this year that ArianeA5 has performed flawlessly, and this launch celebrates as well its 74th success in a row, now equalling (that of the predecessor) ArianeA4,” Arianespace’s Chairman Stephane Israel was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the company.

Apart from the Indian communication satellite, the Ariane 5 rocket put into orbit Australian Sky Muster II satellite.

Overall, Arianespace has won 86 percent of all geostationary launch contracts the country has opened to non-Indian launch systems – including those for GSAT-11 and GSAT-17, to be lofted on future missions from the Spaceport in French Guiana, the company said.

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Carrying 12 transponders in Ku-band and another 24 in C-band, GSAT-18 will provide telecommunications services for India once in its final orbital position (74 deg. East), strengthening ISRO’s current fleet of 14 operational satellites.

The Thursday flight was Arianespace’s eighth of 11 launches targeted in 2016.(IANS)

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393