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India to Utilize SpaceX Falcon-9 Rocket for GSAT-20 Communications Satellite Launch in 2024

Why is it in the news?

  • NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, has opted to use a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket to launch the communication satellite GSAT-20 in the year

About GSAT-20 (Renamed GSAT-N2)

  • GSAT-20 is classified as a high-throughput Ka-band satellite.
  • Uniquely, it will be fully owned, operated, and funded by NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
  • Weighing 4700 kg, GSAT-20 has been meticulously designed to meet the challenging service requirements of remote and unconnected regions.
  • Significantly surpassing the launch capacity of ISRO’s most potent rocket, the LVM-3, which can handle spacecraft weighing up to 4000 kg into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), GSAT-20 showcases technological advancements.
  • The GSAT-20 satellite is specifically tailored to cater to the demanding service needs of remote and unconnected regions, emphasizing the significance of satellite technology in bridging digital divides.
  • GSAT-20 marks the second instance of a “demand-driven” satellite launch facilitated by NSIL.
  • In a prior successful mission, NSIL launched GSAT-24, with TataPlay securing its capacity for Direct-To-Home broadcasting, illustrating the practical implementation of demand-driven initiatives.
  • The launch of GSAT-20 aligns with India’s 2020 space sector reforms, wherein NSIL is mandated to operate in a “demand-driven mode.” In this mode, the identification of end customers for satellite capacity occurs before the satellite’s launch, streamlining the utilization of space assets.


  • NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) is a pivotal entity as the commercial arm of ISRO, incorporated in March 2019.
  • Operating as a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Department of Space, NSIL plays a crucial role in commercializing space activities.
  • NSIL presently oversees and manages 11 communication satellites in orbit, further solidifying its position in the space industry.
  • NSIL’s mandate encompasses several critical aspects of space operations, including owning satellites for Earth Observation and Communication applications.
  • Additionally, NSIL provides launch services for satellites, fostering satellite building through the Indian industry, and facilitating technology transfer to enhance indigenous capabilities.

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