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Home > News > Specials

The Rediff Special/rediff Features Desk

Quick guide to India's latest satellite

December 22, 2005

Early on Thursday morning, the most advanced Indian telecommunications satellite yet, the INSAT-4A, was launched from Kourou in French Guyana.

If you are wondering what that means, read on:

Just what is the INSAT-4A?

It is the first satellite of the INSAT-4 series, and India's most advanced satellite yet. It is designed for a lifespan of 12 years.

The INSAT -- established in 1983 -- is one of the Asia Pacific region's largest domestic communication satellite systems.

Before the 4A, India had eight satellites in orbit the INSAT-2E, the INSAT-3A, the INSAT-3B, the INSAT-3C, the INSAT-3E, Kalpana-1, GSAT-2 and EDUSAT.

The eight satellites have 150 transponders -- electronic equipment that receive signals from earth, convert them to a new frequency, amplify them and resend them back to earth.

The INSAT satellites are also equipped with meteorological equipment.

How much did making the INSAT 4-A cost?

Rs 3 billion (Rs 300 crores). And, the launch cost another Rs 2.25 billion (225 crores). The satellite was launched by Arianespace, a European commercial launch services provider.

How will the INSAT-4A help?

The heaviest satellite in the INSAT bouquet weighing 3,080 kg at launch-time will add another 24 transponders to the system.

It will also give Direct To Home cable television services a shot in the arm.

In plain English, it means the cable guy will face competition, because anyone with a DTH dish will be able to receive signals from the INSAT-4A all over India and watch cable channels that the satellite is beaming back to earth.

What channels will the INSAT-4A beam?

Tata Sky a Tata and Star joint venture -- has leased the 4A's 12 KU band transponders from the Indian Space Research Organisation. One KU band transponder can beam about 12 channels.

The Rediff Specials

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Number of User Comments: 21

Sub: Goodbye Mr.Cable Guy

I am really thankfull that it is a shot in the arm for the DTH venture as i heard the DTH package has a really ...

Posted by Samrat

Sub: INSAT 4A....

Hi guys.... Read this article yet.....i think this is incredible. wow thats amazing. We really fell alot many problems with cable guys...sometimes the one which ...

Posted by Anu

Sub: When it will be possible?

The main thing is when it will be possible to see Cable TV without inteference of Cable TV should be available for low rates ...

Posted by

Sub: insat

Really it is a milestone launching the satilite 4A.Every Indian proud of this

Posted by shaw

Sub: Goodbye Cable TV

It will revoultion. We get entertainment without any payments.

Posted by Nuji



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