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Aero India 2023

ISRO's GSAT-12: three women scientists to be in charge of crucial manoeuvres

PSLV C-17 takes off during its launch from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre in Srihakota, Andhra Pradesh on Friday. Photo: PTI.

CHENNAI (PTI): For the first time in the history of the Indian Space Research Organisation, three senior women scientists will monitor and carry out crucial manoeuvres of the communication satellite GSAT-12 which was launched on Friday.

GSAT-12 Project Director T K Anuradha, Mission Director Pramodha Hegde and Operations Director K S Anuradha, who have been with ISRO for over two decades, will be involved in crucial tasks in the coming days before the satellite is declared operational in four to six weeks.

An elated T K Anuradha said every activity of the satellite was "challenging" and the next few days would be crucial as it involves tasks including deployment of antenna and switching on of Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) firing for orbit raising manoeuvres.

"(Mission Director) Pramodha Hegde and (Operations Director) K S Anuradha and myself will monitor the satellite for carrying all significant activities from the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan (Karnataka)", Anuradha said.

While the initial process would involve taking the satellite to the intended 36,000 km from 282 km (apogee - farthest point to Earth) and 21,020 km (perigee - closest point to Earth), she said over the next few days, the critical manoeuvre would take it to a geostationary orbit to 36,000 km.

After this, the antenna would be deployed, she said.

In orbit testing of payloads (12 Extended "C" band transponders) will be carried out and characterised from MCF, Anuradha said before leaving for Hassan, 200 km from Bangalore.

ISRO Space Commission member and Director T K Alex had said the three women would monitor the satellite from Hassan.

An ISRO official said this was the first time an all women team would be involved in such significant tasks. They will be assisted by teams having about 100 members.

"This is the first time senior women scientists will be engaged in such activity. They will be supported by scientists and engineers from ISRO Bangalore and Ahmedabad", he said.

GSAT-12 equipped with 12 Extended C-band transponders, would provide various services, including tele-medicine, tele-education and disaster management.



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