News: ISRO’s commercial arm to launch GSAT-20 satellite on SpaceX’s Falcon-9 in 2024


What's in the news?

       New Space India Ltd (NSIL), the ISRO’s commercial arm has announced its plans to launch communication satellite GSAT-20 on SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket.


Key takeaways:

       The launch is likely to take place in the second quarter of 2024.

       NSIL was mandated to build, launch, own and operate satellites in “Demand-driven mode” for meeting service needs of the user.

       NSIL successfully undertook its 1st Demand-driven satellite mission, GSAT-24 during June 2022.

       This will be India’s first partnership with a venture led by billionaire Elon Musk to bring his Starlink satellite broadband to India.



       GSAT-20 (renamed as GSAT-N2) is a high throughput Ka-band satellite.

       GSAT-20 satellite will be fully owned, operated and funded by NSIL.

       GSAT 20 will be 2nd Demand driven communication satellite mission of NSIL after GSAT24.



       The satellite has been specifically designed to meet the demanding service needs of remote/unconnected regions.


Ka-band Satellites:

       GSAT-20 offers Ka-band HTS capacity with 32 beams having pan-India coverage including in Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.

       Ka-band satellites deliver high-speed broadband internet connectivity and digital video and audio transmission.

       The Kₐ band is a portion of the microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum defined as frequencies in the range 26.5–40gigahertz, i.e. wavelengths from slightly over 1cm down to 7.5mm.



       GSAT-20 satellite through the ISRO and will be launched onboard Falcon-9 under a launch service contract between the NSIL and the SpaceX, USA.


SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket:

       Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX.

       It is aimed at reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.

       Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket which allows SpaceX to re-fly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn drives down the cost of space access.


Go back to basics:


       NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities.

       It is also responsible for promotion and commercial exploitation of the products and services emanating from the Indian space.