GSLV Mk-II (GSLV-F08) with a capacity of 2,140 kg GSAT-6A launched at 4.56 from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It was the 12th flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle and the sixth with an autogenic cryogenic upper stage.
Over the next few days, scientists will be firing the engines aboard the satellite to maneuver them into a geostationary orbit at a height of 36,000 kilometers from Earth.
It was the first mission for K Sivan after assuming the chairmanship of the Space Agency in January 2018.
Next Generation Vikas Engine
During launch, Isro tested a next generation Vikas engine that powered the rocket's second stage. The improved engine increased the payload capability of the vehicle.
The second stage also featured an electromechanical actuation system that replaces the electro-hydraulic actuation system to increase the reliability of the rocket. Officials said that any improvement of the vehicle should be integrated into the future missions of the GSLV, including Chandrayaan-2, planned for October 2018.
GSAT-6A, similar to its predecessor GSAT-6, is a high performance S-band communications satellite with a lifespan of approximately 10 years.
The satellite has a six-meter-wide antenna that would unfold in space. The antenna intended for S-band communication is three times wider than that commonly used in Isro satellites. With this feature, the satellite can provide mobile communications for the land via handheld terminals. The smaller antenna in other communication satellites requires larger ground stations.
While GSAT-6A will complement the GSAT-6, the Isro sources said the satellite would also supply the Indian forces.
GSAT-6 has been offering satellite communications services since its launch on 27 August 2015.