The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the new GSAT-19 communication satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO has used its GSLV Mk-III rocket to lift off the satellite, which weighed 3,136kg at lift-off and is the heaviest satellite launched by India.

Following the completion of a 25.5h countdown, the 640t rocket was launched as scheduled by igniting its two S200 solid strap-on boosters.

Around 16min after lift-off, the high-throughput communication satellite was placed in orbit.

The latest launch has also marked the first orbital mission of GSLV MkIII and aims to evaluate the vehicle performance, including the ISRO-developed cryogenic engine, during the flight.

“GSLV Mk III has put GSAT 19, which is a next-generation satellite, into orbit."

ISRO chief A S Kiran Kumar was quoted by Reuters as saying: “GSLV Mk III has put GSAT 19, which is a next-generation satellite, into orbit.

“It is a perfect launch. The information from the satellite is being tracked. And it is good.”

Over the coming days, GSAT-19’s orbit will be raised from its present geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) to the final circular geostationary orbit (GSO).

During the final phase of this operation, the solar panels and antenna reflectors of the satellite will also be deployed.

Once GSAT-19 is placed into its designated slot, the satellite will be commissioned into service.

Image: ISRO’s GSLV Mk-III rocket is ascending into space, carrying a GSAT-19 satellite. Photo: courtesy of ISRO.