ISRO Collaborates with SpaceX for Launching GSAT-N2 Satellite

India’s space agency, ISRO, has entered into a partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch its communications satellite, GSAT-N2, aboard the Falcon 9 rocket in the second quarter of 2024. The satellite, previously known as GSAT-20, has been designed to provide cost-effective Ka-Ka band HTS capacity for broadband, IFMC, and cellular backhaul services.

With a capacity of 48 gbps and 32 beams, GSAT-N2 will offer comprehensive coverage across India, including remote and unconnected regions like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. The majority of the satellite’s capacity has already been secured by undisclosed Indian service providers.

This collaboration highlights ISRO’s reliance on SpaceX for launching heavier satellites. ISRO’s Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3) can only carry payloads up to 4000 kg, making it unsuitable for larger satellites. Previously, ISRO relied on Arianespace, but the retirement of the Ariane 5 rocket left ISRO seeking alternative options.

While ISRO is developing the Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) and upgrading the LVM3 for increased payload capacity, the collaboration with SpaceX offers a viable solution in the meantime. Additionally, the NGLV is being designed to transfer up to 10 tonnes to orbit, aligning with India’s future plans to build its own space station by 2035.

The partnership between ISRO and SpaceX represents a significant step forward for India’s space program. By utilizing SpaceX’s proven launch capabilities, ISRO can continue to expand its satellite communication services and advance its ambitions in space exploration. The launch of GSAT-N2 marks another milestone in the ongoing collaboration between ISRO and international space agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the partnership between ISRO and SpaceX?
ISRO, India’s space agency, has partnered with SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace company, to launch its communications satellite, GSAT-N2, in 2024.

2. What is the purpose of GSAT-N2?
GSAT-N2, previously known as GSAT-20, is designed to provide cost-effective Ka-Ka band HTS capacity for broadband, IFMC, and cellular backhaul services.

3. What are the specifications of GSAT-N2?
GSAT-N2 has a capacity of 48 gbps and 32 beams, offering comprehensive coverage across India, including remote regions like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

4. Who has secured the majority of GSAT-N2’s capacity?
Undisclosed Indian service providers have already secured the majority of GSAT-N2’s capacity.

5. Why is ISRO partnering with SpaceX?
ISRO’s Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3) has payload limitations that make it unsuitable for launching heavier satellites. With the retirement of the Ariane 5 rocket, ISRO sought alternative options and found SpaceX as a reliable partner for launching larger satellites.

6. What are ISRO’s plans for future launch vehicles?
ISRO is developing the Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) and upgrading the LVM3 to increase payload capacity. The NGLV is being designed to transfer up to 10 tonnes to orbit, aligning with India’s plans to build its own space station by 2035.

7. How does the partnership benefit ISRO’s space program?
The partnership with SpaceX allows ISRO to utilize proven launch capabilities and expand its satellite communication services. It also helps advance ISRO’s ambitions in space exploration.

8. Are there any other collaborations between ISRO and international space agencies?
Yes, the launch of GSAT-N2 is part of an ongoing collaboration between ISRO and international space agencies, highlighting the agency’s commitment to global cooperation in space exploration.

Definitions:

1. ISRO: Indian Space Research Organisation, India’s space agency.
2. SpaceX: An aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, known for developing and operating the Falcon 9 rocket.
3. Ka-Ka band HTS: High Throughput Satellite system using the Ka-Ka band frequency range.
4. IFMC: Integrated Facility for Marine Communication, a service for maritime communication.
5. Cellular backhaul: A network infrastructure that connects the core network to distributed cell sites.

Suggested Related Links:
– ISRO
– SpaceX

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