After issuing an international call for tenders, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has chosen Arianespace to launch the GSAT 7 and INSAT 3D satellites. The contract also includes two more launch options for ISRO, the Indian space agency.
The two satellies GSAT 7 and INSAT-3D are scheduled for launch in the second quarter of 2013. Both satellites will be launched by Ariane 5 launchers from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Designed and built by ISRO, GSAT 7 multiband telecommuications satellite will have a mass of 2,550 kg at launch. INSAT 3D, which is again designed and built by ISRO, is a dedicated weather satellite. It will weigh 2,100 kg at launch, offering 1,100 W of power. INSAT 3D will carry weather forecasting payloads, along with a search & rescue function.
Comment by David Todd: This launch order is effectively a final admission that ISRO will not be able to get its GSLV launch vehicle series running reliably in time for these launches. The Flightglobal/Ascend SpaceTrak database records that the last four flights of the GSLV launch vehicle series have been total or partial launch failures. It should also be noted that the GSAT 7 satellite is not for commercial use. The satellite (sometimes annoted as GSAT-7 and also known as Rohini, will be used by the Indian Navy for its telecommunications needs. This launch contract announcement appears to the official confirmation of an announcement of intention disclosed on 3 June 2011.