Satellite will help propel PM’s Digital India programme; it will work to provide Internet access to villagers across the country The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has embarked on an ambitious plan to have a rocket launch every second week from now on will launch the GSAT-29 next month. The launch of the GSAT-29 satellite will propel Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme. One of the targets of the mission is to ensure that Village Resource Centres (VRC) in rural areas can successfully bridge the digital divide. According to the space agency GSAT-29 is configured around ISRO’s Enhanced I-3K Bus and will be the payload for second developmental flight of GSLV MK3. It carries Ka x Ku multi-beam and optical communication payloads for the first time. The GSAT-29 which is classified as a high throughput satellite will be launched on board the GSLV MK3-D2. The October launch of the GSLV MK3 is the second one involving ISRO’s heaviest launch vehicle. Last year, the first developmental flight of GSLV MK3 was carried out when the GSLV MK3-D1 successfully launched the GSAT-19 satellite. Apart from the buzz surrounding the GSAT-29’s launch as it is part of the Digital India mission, the October launch would also be watched closely as the GSLV MK3 is the rocket which has been earmarked for the Human Space Mission or the Gaganyaan. Gaganyaan aims to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. ISRO has lined up a series missions involving the GSLV MK3 before the Gaganyaan mission becomes a reality as the launcher has to be Human rated for the mission. After the GSAT-29, another launch is planned involving a PSLV during which 30 commercial satellites would be launched. ISRO has said that it will have a very busy second half for 2018 starting with the successful launch of two foreign satellites on September 16.
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