India to use SpaceX rocket to launch communications satellite

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Science & Technology

Topic: Achievements of Indians in science & technology

Issue: SpaceX Launching GSAT.

Context:  Utilising the services of SpaceX for the first time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will deploy its heavy communication satellite GSAT-20 through the Falcon-9 rocket of the private space.


Why SpaceX?

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will use SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket to deploy GSAT-20, a heavy communication satellite, addressing the satellite’s weight challenge
  • The collaboration with SpaceX, facilitated by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), aims to enhance high-speed internet services across India, including rural areas and islands. SpaceX chosen due to availability and cost competitiveness.
  • GSAT-20, weighing 4,700 kg, surpasses ISRO’s rocket capacity, making Falcon-9’s 8,300 kg capability crucial.
  • NSIL’s strategic launch agreement with SpaceX signals India’s reliance on private partnerships for satellite launches.


·          GSAT-20:·          4,700-kilo communication satellite by ISRO’s NSIL.

·          Planned launch on Falcon 9 in Q2 2024.

·          Aims to meet India’s broadband needs, offering 48Gbps capacity.

·          Facilitates connectivity in remote regions, including islands.

·          Falcon 9:

·          SpaceX’s reusable, two-stage rocket.

·          World’s first orbital-class reusable rocket.

·          Payload capacity: 22,800 kg to Low-Earth Orbit, 8,300 kg to Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

·          Reusability drives down space access costs.


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