News update: Upcoming GSAT-31 to replace dying INSAT-4CR




The upcoming ISRO satellite to be launched GSAT-31 is a replacement for a dying satellite INSAT-4CR. "Dying" does not mean that the old satellite is going to be de-orbited & burned or to be destroyed completely upon a command given from ground station, but only reaching the end of it's designed "service life". Beyond the designed "service life", satellite does not have enough fuel and/or electric power to remain useful.

INSAT-4 constellation included seven communication satellites. INSAT-4C of this lot was lost when GSLV rocket carrying it was destroyed upon failure in year 2006. It's replacement INSAT-4CR also suffered failure to reach designed orbit when another GSLV under-performed in 2007. 4CR had to spend more fuel (reserved for orbit raising & station keeping) to reach that orbit. Since less on board fuel left for itself, the service life of 4CR got shortened by 5 years. Now the time has come for GSAT-31 to take handover from INSAT-4CR (7th FEB 2019).

Best of luck ISRO!