The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the GSAT-31 from the spaceport in French Guiana today. Here are a few facts about the satellite

1. The GSAT-31 is the 40th communication satellite launched by ISRO

2. The GSAT-31 weighs around 2,535 Kgs, much lighter than the GSAT-29 which weighed 3423 Kg

3. The GSAT-31 would be replacing INSAT- 4CR which was launched in September 2007

4. The GSAT-31 shares the same platform as that of the INSAT-4CR, which is I-2K bus enhanced for maximum and better transmission

5. It has a better mission life of 15 years compared to INSAT-4cr’s 12 years

6. GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH television services, cellular back haul connectivity and many such applications

7. The communication satellite would augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit

8. It would provide wide beam coverage for communications over oceanic regions like the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean by using a wideband transponder.

9. Ariane-5 was used to launch the GSAT-31. It is the 23rd time that an Ariane vehicle was used to launch ISRO’s communication satellite

10. The Ariane-5 vehicle (Flight VA247) also carried Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 along with GSAT-31

11. Arianespace will also launch ISRO’s GSAT-30 that would replace another dying satellite, the INSAT-4A