India successfully launches GSAT-12
In a textbook launch, Indian Space Research Organisation`s workhorse PSLV lifted off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here at 4.48 pm at the end of the 53-hour countdown and placed the 1,410 kg GSAT-12 into orbit about 20 minutes later.
"I am extremely happy to state that the PSVL-C17 GSAT12 mission is successful. The launch vehicle injected the satellite very precisely into the intended orbit," a beaming ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan announced.
On its 18th successful mission in a row, the PSLV zoomed into cloudy skies as scientists broke into cheers at the mission control centre here, 90 km from Chennai.
GSAT-12 was injected into an elliptical Transfer Orbit of 284 km perigee (closest point to Earth) and 21,000 km apogee (farthest point to Earth).
Subsequently, the onboard Liquid Apogee Motor would be used to place the satellite in a circular orbit.
GSAT-12, aimed at augmenting the capacity in the INSAT system for various communication services like tele-education, tele-medicine and Village Resource Centres, would be co-located with INSAT-2E and INSAT-4A satellites.
This was the second time in its 19 flights that the PSLV has been used for launching a communication satellite after Kalpana-1 in 2002.