Advanced multi-band communication satellite GSAT-7 was launched by India into space by ISRO from Kourou spaceport, in French Guinea at 0200 hrs IST

On August 30, 2013, India launched its first-ever defence satellite into a geostationary orbit in space dedicated to enhance the military communication and expand its naval footprint, according to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) release. The advanced multi-band communication satellite GSAT-7 was launched by India’s space agency ISRO from Kourou spaceport, in French Guinea at 0200 hrs IST, loaded on the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace. 

“GSAT-7 Communication payload is designed to provide communication capabilities to users,” ISRO wrote in the release on its website. “The payload configuration is compatible with I-2.5K bus of ISRO. The GSAT-7 payload design includes Multiband communication,” it added.

Not only the defence satellite aimed to improve the Indian navy's surveillance but also provide a wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication across both Indian oceanic regions and landmass, as per ISRO. The Ariane-5 injected the GSAT-7 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) exactly post a 34 minutes 25 seconds duration flight as signals were transmitted at the ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka for about 5 minutes. Signals indicated the successful separation of the of GSAT-7 satellite from Ariane-5 rocket and solar panels of the satellite activated and generating power. ISRO had updated at the time that the “initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite.”

Placed in orbit in September 2013

At about 36,000 km altitude, the satellite orbited Geostationary Orbit as it increased manoeuvres by “firing of GSAT-7's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM)”, according to ISRO’s release. While the satellite was placed in its orbit on September 04, 2013, the first firing was reported on August 31, 2013. “ Satellite was important from security and surveillance points of view”, PTI quoted ISRO official as saying in a report. Further, the Rs 185-crore GSAT-7 satellite launch was live-streamed on national television ‘Doordarshan’. Several prominent figures witnessed the launch live from the facility including Indian Ambassador to France, Arun Singh and Director of Bangalore-based ISRO Satellite Centre, S K Shivakumar, who reportedly called the historic launch a promising step towards India- France’s strategic partnership.