Countdown Begins for Isro's GSAT-6 Launch on Thursday

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Countdown Begins for Isro's GSAT-6 Launch on Thursday
Indian space agency is flying the GSLV rocket with its own cryogenic engine for the second time on Thursday after the successful launch of similar rocket in January 2014 that put into orbit GSAT-14.

A cryogenic engine is more efficient as it provides more thrust for every kilogram of propellant burnt.

The satellite GSAT-6 is India's 25th geostationary communication satellite and twelfth in the GSAT series.

Five of GSAT-6's predecessors were launched by GSLV during 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2014 respectively.

After its commissioning, GSAT-6 will join the group of India's other operational geostationary satellites.

The satellite provides communication through five spot beams in S-band and a national beam in C-band for strategic users.

The cuboid shaped GSAT-6 has a lift-off mass of 2,117kgs. Of this, propellants weigh 1,132kgs and the dry mass of the satellite is 985kgs.

One of the advanced features of GSAT-6 satellite is its S-Band Unfurlable Antenna of six metre diameter.

This is the largest satellite antenna realised by Isro. This antenna is utilised for five spot beams over the Indian main land.

The spot beams exploit the frequency reuse scheme to increase frequency spectrum utilisation efficiency.

The satellite's life expectancy is nine years.

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Further reading: GSAT 6, GSLV D6, Isro
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