February 02, 2000
INSAT-3B Air-lifted from Bangalore

INSAT-3B, the first satellite in the ISRO-built, INSAT-3 series, was air-lifted last night (February 1, 2000) to Kourou in French Guyana, from where it is expected to be launched between March 14 and March 21, 2000 on board Ariane-5 vehicle. The Air France cargo aircraft (AF 6741) carrying INSAT-3B and other equipment took off at 11.00 hours (IST). The satellite was packed in a special container with provisions like vibration isolation, nitrogen purging, rapid decompression provision and monitoring instruments for temperature, pressure, vibration levels, etc, to take care of the satellite during its transport and handling. The other equipment were packed in 10 pellets; in all, the cargo weighed about 40 tonne.

Two ISRO scientists are accompanying the precious cargo. A team of ISRO engineers have already left to Kourou to start working on the satellite as soon as it reaches Kourou. The cargo is expected to reach Kaynes Airport near Kourou on the evening of February 2, 2000.