Monday, July 29, 2013

INSAT-3D reaches closer to its orbital home

INSAT-3D was launched by Ariane-5 launch vehicle in the early hours of July 26 from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Credit: ESA

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has confirmed that INSAT-3D, the most advanced weather satellite, has reached an intermediate orbit which is much closer to the 36,000 km outside the atmosphere of Earth. This is its final orbital home 36,000 km high geostationary orbit, its final orbital home, INSAT-3D was launched by Ariane-5 launch vehicle in the early hours of July 26 into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 35,923 km. The inclination of INSAT-3D's orbit with respect to the equatorial plane was 3.495 degrees.

Following this, two major orbit raising manoeuvres were performed on INSAT-3D from Isro's Master Control Facility at Hassan on Saturday and Sunday by firing the satellite's Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM).

In the critical first orbit manoeuvre performed on July 27, INSAT-3D's LAM was fired for a duration of 65 minutes, which resulted in the rising of the perigee to 15,780 km while the apogee was at 35,800 km.

In the second orbit raising manoeuvre performed on Sunday, the satellite's LAM was fired for 24 minutes; the perigee further rose to 31,800 km and the apogee remained at 35,795 km. The third orbit raising manoeuvre of INSAT-3D is scheduled on Monday which will touch the highest geostationary altitude of about 36,000 km.



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