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Insat-3C in geo-stationary orbit, solar arrays deployed

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) latest multi-purpose geostationary satellite, Insat 3C, has been successfully maneuvered to move it into geo-stationary orbit. The satellite will be ready for use by month-end, Isro chairman K Kasturirangan, has been quoted as saying, with 30 more transponders being added to the capacity.

The first manoeuvre was carried out on 25 January that raised the orbit from 570 km to 9,350 km. The second manoeuvre was carried out on 26 January to raise the orbit to 18,340 km while the third was carried out on 28 January raising the orbit to 32,448 km. The last manoeuvre was on 30 January bringing the satellite to near geo-stationary orbit. The satellite is currently at 63 deg East longitude and drifting at 2 deg per day towards its designated orbital slot at 74 deg East longitude.

Meanwhile, the deployment of Insat-SC's appendages was completed on 31 January 31. First the solar array on the south side of the satellite was deployed followed by the deployment of the antenna on the west side at 10:35 am.. The solar array on the north side of the satellite was deployed at 11:47 am and finally the antenna on the east side was deployed at 12:21 pm. Insat-3C has since been put in its final three axis stabilised mode on 1 February.

All the systems of Insat-3C have been performing as per predictions. The satellite has 488 kg fuel left on board which will be sufficient for its design life of 12 years, an official Isro statement says.

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