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All systems go on INSAT-4A
December 26, 2005 20:54 IST
INSAT-4A, India's most advanced and powerful communication satellite, has been successfully placed in near geo-synchronous orbit and its solar panels and two antennae have been deployed.
In the third and final orbit-raising operations conducted Monday, the spacecraft controllers at the Master Control Facility of the Indian Space Research Organisation successfully pushed the satellite to near geo-synchronous orbit. The Liquid Apogee Motor on board the satellite was fired for five minutes 45 seconds to enable it to achieve an orbital period of 23 hours and 54 minutes, ISRO said in a release.
The satellite, which was in good health, was currently located at 78.1 degrees east and was drifting towards its final orbital position of 83 degrees east. The satellite drift would be arrested at 81.5 degrees east to carry out in-orbit testing of the payloads, ISRO said.
INSAT-4A was launched on December 22 by an Ariane five launch vehicle from Kourou in French Guyana. The launch vehicle placed INSAT-4A in an orbit with a perigee (closest point to earth) of 622 km and apogee (farthest point to earth) of 36,152 km. The inclination of the orbit with respect to the equator was 4.02 degrees. With two orbit raising manoeuvres conducted from MCF, the orbit of INSAT-4A had been raised to 31,757 km perigee and 36,008 km apogee, with the orbital inclination reduced to 0.12 degrees.
The satellite, which had about 1,690 kg of propellant at the time of its launch, had used 1,154 kg of propellant for the three orbit raising manoeuvres. The remaining propellant was sufficient for maintaining the satellite orbit and orientation for its designed life of 12 years.
The two solar arrays of INSAT-4A together generate about 5.5 KW of electrical power.