Country's mega geo-stationary satellite GSAT-8 was successfully deployed in an elliptical geo-synchronous transfer orbit on early Saturday by the Ariane-VA-202 rocket, an official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. "The 3.1-tonne satellite was injected in the GTO 31 minutes after it was was launched at 0211 IST and separated from the rocket's upper stage at 1,800 km above earth," the official of the state-run space agency said.
Earlier, the rocket lifted off successfully from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana off the South American coast with two other payloads.
Ariane-V of Arianespace belongs to the European Space Agency consortium.
The Indian spacecraft carries 24 high-power Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home (DTH) services provided by state-run and private broadcasters.
The space agency's master control facility (MCF) at Hasan, about 180 km from Bangalore, started receiving the signals from GSAT-8 within minutes after it entered the geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO). The MCF also took command and control of the heavy satellite.
The satellite will be gradually put into the 36,000-km geosynchronous orbit over the next couple of days and its antenna and solar panels will be deployed.
"The MCF will test and monitor the health parameters of the payloads by June 1. It will be available for DTH services from July 1," ISRO director S Satish said.
Along with GSAT-8, the space agency sent the global position system (GPS) aided geo augmented navigation (Gagan) as an additional payload to improve the accuracy of the US' GPS.