GSLV-D2 First orbit raising operations successfully carried out

Status Report From: Indian Space Research Organisation
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2003

The second developmental test flight of India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-D2, was successfully carried out on May 8, 2003 from Satish Dhawan Space Center, SHAR, Sriharikota. GSLV-D2 successfully placed GSAT-2 in an orbit of 180 km perigee (nearest point to earth) and 36,000 km apogee (farthest point to earth) at an orbital inclination of 19.2 degree with respect to the equator, and with an orbital period of 10 hours 30 minutes, as planned.

Multiple orbit raising operations are planned on GSAT-2 satellite to raise it from its current Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) to the Geo-synchronous Orbit (GSO). The first of these orbit raising operations was successfully carried out at 8:45 am (IST), this morning (May 9, 2003) by firing the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor on board the satellite for a duration of 47 minutes 30 seconds. The operations were carried out by commanding the satellite from Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka. With this operation, the orbital perigee of GSAT-2 has been raised to 8,850 km and the apogee remains at 36,000 km. The inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has also been reduced from 19.2 degree at the time of injection to 7.37 degree. The orbital period of the satellite now is 13 hours 20 minutes. Further manoeuvres are planned in the next few days.

The satellite was acquired by the ground station at Biak immediately after separation from the launch vehicle. After a visibility gap of 50 minutes, Lake Cowichan Station in Canada acquired the satellite at 6:15 pm (IST) yesterday, as planned. The initial operations including health checks, gyro calibration and rehearsals for Apogee Motor Firing were carried out. MCF-Hassan acquired the satellite signals from the GSAT-2 at 4:00 a.m. (IST) this morning as per prediction.

The next Apogee raising operation is planned tomorrow (May 10, 2003) at 11:30 a.m. The health of the satellite is normal.

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