GSAT-7: India’s First Military Satellite Launched Successfully


  • On 30th August, 2013 defence satellite GSAT-7 was successfully launched by European space consortium Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
  • The Ariane 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A) – the most powerful version in the Ariane 5 range – was used for this flight.
  • After a flight of almost 34 minutes, the satellite was injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) of 249 km perigee (nearest point to earth), 35,929 km apogee (farthest point to earth) and an inclination of 3.5 degree with respect to the equator.
  • During August 31-September 4, three orbit-raising operations will be performed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to place the satellite into geostationary orbit of 36,000 km above the equator.
  • By September 14, GSAT-7 is planned to be positioned in its orbital slot of 74 deg East longitude and subsequently the satellite’s communication transponders will be switched on.
  • GSAT-7 is India’s first dedicated spacecraft for Defence applications.
  • GSAT-7 was the 17th ISRO spacecraft lofted by an Ariane-series vehicle, continuing a relationship that extends to the 1981 mission with the Apple experimental satellite.
  • It is to be noted that ISRO cannot launch heavy satellites like GSAT-7 as its home-grown GSLV rocket, with indigenous cryogenic stage, is still at works and needs two successful flights before it is declared operational.
  • The Ariane 5 launch vehicle also had on board the EUTELSAT 25B/E.
  • According to Arianespace, EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 – a ground-breaking partnership between European operator Eutelsat and the Doha-based Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company – marked a historic moment for the Qatari operator as it is the first satellite of its planned global fleet.
  • Eutelsat 25B/Es’hail 1 was designed and built by Space Systems/Loral in California and weighed 6,310 kg at liftoff.


About GSAT-7

  • INSAT-4F or GSAT-7 is the country’s first advanced and full-fledged military communication spacecraft.
  • It is a multi-band communication satellite developed by ISRO to provide wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication.
  • The state-of-the-art satellite carrying payloads operating, in UHF, S, C and Ku bands, had a lift-off mass of 2625 kg and is based on ISRO’s 2500 kg satellite bus with some new technological elements, including the antennae.
  • It will provide services to the Indian defence forces with the main user being the Indian Navy.

Other Important Facts

Manufacturer: ISRO Satellite Centre, Space Applications Centre
Mission: Communication
Mass at Lift-Off: 2650 kg
Physical Dimensions: 3.1 m X 1.7 m X 2.0 m
Power: 3,000 W (end of life)
Stabilization: 3-axis stabilized
Launch date: August 30, 2013
Launch site: Kourou, French Guiana
Launch vehicle: Ariane-5 VA-215
Orbit: 74oE Geo Stationary
Mission life: > 7 Years

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