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Sonia congratulates ISRO for GSAT-17 launch

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New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the successful launch of India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-17.

“Right from its inception, the space scientists at ISRO have worked hard to bolster the scientific temper of this country. This latest addition to its long list of achievements has once again made every Indian proud,” she said in a statement.

India on Thursday added GSAT-17 to its fleet of communication satellites after it was launched into orbit by heavy lift rocket Ariane 5 from Kourou in French Guinea, said the European Space Agency Arianespace.

Arianespace said the GSAT-17 with a mass at lift-off of 3,476 kg would expand the ISRO’s current fleet of 17 telecommunication satellites.

“It is to provide continuity of Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) in Normal C and Upper Extended C bands as well as Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) in S-band and Data Relay and Search and Rescue services in UHF band – operating from a final orbital position of 93.5 degrees East,” it said.

Arianespace said it has launched 21 satellites for ISRO, extending a relationship that dates back to 1981 with the launch of APPLE experimental satellite.

ISRO said its Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-17 immediately after its separation from the rocket.

Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal functioning.

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