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Insat 4A placed in Intermediate Orbit; govt grants Isro Rs 4 bn for space programmes

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BANGALORE: The Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro) telecommunications satellite Insat-4A was placed in an orbit with a perigee (closest point to the earth) of 622 km and apogee (farthest point to earth) of 36,152 km.

Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka acquired the first signals at 4:32 am on 22 December and conducted initial phase operations on Insat 4A. The satellite was launched in the early hours of 22 December from Kourou, French Guyana.

Additionally, as per agency reports, Isro has been granted an additional amount of Rs 4 billion by the government in order to provide a boost to the country's space programme.

The funding for Isro comes in the wake of the organisation preparing for the mission to the moon in the next five years and also plans to launch seven satellites under the new Insat 4 series programme in a span of three years.

On the other hand, the first critical orbit-raising manoeuvre of Insat 4A was conducted at 6:24 am on 23 December when the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board Insat N4A was fired for 85 minutes by commanding the satellite from MCF.

With this LAM firing, Insat 4A perigee has been raised to 13,733 km. The apogee is 36,008 km and the inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced from 4 deg at the time of launch to 0.85 deg now. The orbital period is 15 hours 16 minutes.

All systems on board the satellite are functioning normally. The satellite will go out of MCF visibility at about 1:33 pm and come within its visibility at 7:17 am tomorrow. Further orbit raising maneuvers are planned in the next few days.

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