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GSAT-10 pushed towards geostationary orbit

Posted on Oct 01, 10:15PM | IANS

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Monday pushed its heaviest communication satellite GSAT-10 further towards the geostationary orbit by firing the liquid apogee motor on board the 3.4-tonne spacecraft.

"In the second orbit-raising exercise, the satellite has been placed at 31,822 km perigee (nearest point to earth) and 35,734 km apogee (farthest from earth), which is closer to its designated geostationary orbit," state-run ISRO said in a statement here.

The satellite was launched Sep 29 on board the Ariane-V rocket of the European Space Agency (Arianespace) from its Kourou spaceport in French Guiana and injected into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit 30 minutes after lift-off.

In the third-orbit raising exercise Oct 3, the spacecraft will be placed in the geostationary orbit, about 36,000 km from the earth's equator.

"The satellite's two solar panels and two reflectors will also be deployed after it reaches the designated slot Wednesday," the statement said.

The space agency's master control facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command of the satellite after its injection into the orbit for monitoring its health and the subsequent orbit-raising exercise, which began early Sunday.

GSAT-10 has 30 transponders, including 12 in normal C-band, six in lower extended C-band and 12 Ku-band and a GPS (global positioning system) aided Geo augmented navigation (Gagan) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.

As a two-way device, a transponder receives signals over a range of uplink frequencies and re-transmits them on a different set of downlink frequencies to receivers on earth without changing the content (voice, data or pictures) of the received signals.

The cost of the GSAT-10, including its launch and insurance is Rs.750 crore (USD 136 million).

GSAT-10 will augment the communication transponders' capacity to 198 from 168 in the Indian satellite (INSAT) system.

GSAT-10 is the second satellite after GSAT-8 to carry the Gagan payload for providing navigation services to airlines and ships. The Ku-band transponder will also help in accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite.

With a 15-year life span, GSAT-10 will be positioned at 83 degrees east orbital location along with INSAT-4A and GSAT-12.