India is poised to make a significant leap in its space capabilities with the launch of the GSAT-20 satellite, which will be carried into orbit by SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket.
The details were released by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, which has been tasked with building, launching, owning, and operating satellites in a demand-driven mode to cater to the specific needs of users.
Following the successful deployment of GSAT-24 in June 2022 — a mission entirely funded by NSIL and whose capacity was fully secured by TataPlay—NSIL is now gearing up for the GSAT-20 satellite mission.
Scheduled for the second quarter of 2024, GSAT-20 is designed to enhance broadband connectivity, as well as supporting In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) and cellular backhaul services across India.
The GSAT-20 satellite boasts an impressive HTS capacity of nearly 48Gbps and features 32 beams that offer comprehensive coverage over the entire Indian subcontinent, including the Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands.
The bulk of this high-capacity bandwidth has already been pre-booked by Indian service providers, indicating strong demand and the potential for transformative impact on connectivity in the region.
Weighing in at 4700 kg, the GSAT-20 is being developed through the expertise of the Isro and will be launched aboard a Falcon-9 rocket as part of a launch service contract between NSIL and SpaceX.
This collaboration highlights the increasing global partnerships in the space industry and underscores the importance of international cooperation in advancing space technology.
The GSAT-20 mission is particularly significant as it aims to meet the challenging service requirements of remote and previously unconnected regions, bridging the digital divide and fostering inclusive growth.