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NSIL to Launch ComSat with SpaceX in Q2 of 2024

NSIL GSAT-24, GSAT-20’s predecessor. Credit: Arianespace

Ibadan, 3 January 2024. – NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company under the Department of Space and the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced a launch partnership with SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket. As a result, SpaceX will launch NSIL’s 2nd Demand-driven communication satellite mission involving GSAT-20 [renamed as GSAT-N2], a high throughput Ka-band Satellite, during the 2nd quarter of 2024.

This development stems from the Government of India’s 2022 space sector reform, which mandated NSIL to build, launch, own and operate satellites in “Demand-driven mode” to meet the service needs of the user. As part of this, NSIL successfully undertook its 1st Demand-driven satellite mission, GSAT-24, in June 2022, wherein the capacity onboard the satellite was fully secured by TataPlay. NSIL also fully funded the GSAT-24 mission and currently owns and operates 11 communication satellites in orbit.

In the same vein, NSIL will be undertaking the GSAT-20 satellite mission to offer cost-effective Ka-Ka band HTS capacity primarily for meeting the Broadband, as well as IFMC and cellular backhaul service needs. GSAT-20 will offer Ka-Ka band HTS capacity with 32 beams with Pan-India coverage, including A&N and Lakshadweep islands, with a specific design that will meet the demanding service needs of remote/ unconnected regions. Indian service providers have already secured most of the HTS capacity onboard the GSAT-20 satellite.

At the close of last year, NSIL also extended a Provisional Purchase Order worth over $10 million with Saankhya Labs, for the supply, installation and commissioning of Two-Way MSS Terminals (Xponders) for vessel communication and support systems in Marine Fishing Vessels for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) along the coastal states of India. The Xponders will enable navigational assistance, automatic boundary-crossing alarms and emergency weather alerts to fishermen.

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