Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-F04, had a successful launch yesterday at 18.20 hours from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota and it placed India’s INSAT-4CR into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
GSLV-F04 placed the 2,130 kg satellite into a GTO at an altitude of 248 kms about 17 minutes after the liftoff. This was the fifth flight of GSLV and the fourth successful one.
INSAT-4CR is now orbiting the Earth in GTO with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 168 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 34,710 km with an orbital inclination of 20.7 deg with respect to the equator.
INSAT-4CR is the third satellite in INSAT-4 series. It carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders designed to provide Direct-To-home (DTH) television services, Video Picture Transmission (VPT) and Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG). It was built to replace an identical satellite, INSAT-4C that was lost due to the failure of GSLV-F02 in July 2006.
Soon after its injection into to GTO, the two solar arrays of INSAT-4CR were automatically deployed. The deployment of the arrays as well as the general health of the satellite were monitored by the ground station of the ISTRAC located in the Indonesian island of Biak. The Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka has since taken control of INSAT-4CR for all its post launch operations. Ground stations at Lake Cowichan (Canada), Fucino (Italy) and Beijing (China) are supporting MCF in monitoring the health of the satellite and its orbit raising operations.
In the coming days, INSAT-4CR’s orbit will be raised from its present elliptical GTO to the final Geostationary Orbit (GSO) by firing the satellite’s Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in stages. The satellite will be commissioned into service after the completion of orbit raising operations, checking out all its transponders and positioning it in its designated orbital slot of 74 degree East longitude in the GSO. There, it will be co-located with KALPANA-1, INSAT-3C and EDUSAT.
INSAT-4CR was developed by ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore. The payloads were developed by Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. Master Control Facility at Hassan is responsible for all post launch operations of the satellite.