The communication satellite, GSAT-20, is undergoing a rebranding soon, with its new name being GSAT-EN2. Through this satellite, various needs related to broadband, in-flight connectivity (IFMC), maritime communication (AIS), and cellular backhaul services will be addressed.

ISRO’s 4.7-tonne GSAT-20 satellite will be launched into space by the Falcon 9 rocket of the American company SpaceX. The commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), announced on Wednesday that it would be availing services from SpaceX for the first time. The launch is expected to take place in the second quarter of the year.

At present, ISRO possesses the most powerful GSLV Mk III rocket, capable of carrying a payload of up to 4,000 kg to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). However, GSAT-20 exceeds this capacity by more than 700 kg. Hence, for the first time, ISRO is opting for the services of Elon Musk’s space agency, SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket can carry payloads weighing up to 8,300 kg to GTO.

ISRO is currently developing a 10-tonne capacity rocket, similar to meeting the increasing demand for foreign rockets for an extended period. Engaged in developing the next-generation launch vehicle (NGLV), ISRO aims to enable the launch of payloads or instruments weighing up to 10,000 kg to GTO.

The GSAT-20, soon to be renamed GSAT-EN2, is a communication satellite catering to a variety of needs such as broadband, in-flight connectivity, maritime communication (IFMC), and cellular backhaul services. It features Ka-Ku band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity, considered at 48 Gbps, with the ability to broadcast 32 beams simultaneously, covering remote areas of the country.

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