Source: Business Standard, May 23, 2011
Bengaluru: India’s advanced communication satellite, GSAT-8, was successfully launched at 2:08 am (IST) today by the Ariane-V launch vehicle of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana, in South America. Ariane V placed the GSAT-8 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) of 35,861 km apogee and 258 km perigee.
Isro’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka acquired the signals from GSAT-8 satellite immediately after the injection, according to a statement from Isro. Initial checks on the satellite have indicated normal health of the satellite.
“Preparations are underway for the firing of 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) during the third orbit of the satellite on May 22, at 3:58 am (IST) as a first step towards taking the satellite to its geostationary orbital home,” the statement added.
The GSAT-8 will improve direct to home TV broadcast services. Weighing about 3100 Kg at lift-off, GSAT-8 is configured to carry 24 high power transponders in Ku-band and a two-channel GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands.
The 24 Ku band transponders will augment the capacity in the Insat system. The GAGAN payload provides the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS), through which the accuracy of the positioning information obtained from the GPS Satellite is improved by a network of ground based receivers and made available to the users in the country through the geostationary satellites.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has applauded the efforts of the Department of Space for the successful launch of advanced communication satellite GSAT-8 for improving in an elliptical geo-synchronous transfer orbit early Saturday by the Ariane-VA-202 rocket.
Within minutes, the space agency’s master control facility (MCF) at Hassan, about 180 km from Bangalore, identified the presence of GSAT-8 in the geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
Responding to the news, the official Isro spokesperson claimed MCF will conduct a test to track the health parameters of the payloads by June 1 so that it will be accessed by DTH services from July 1.