India’s advanced communication satellite GSAT-14, which was put into its initial orbit on January 5 by the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5), reached its final, circular geo-stationary home at a height of 36,000 km above the earth on January 18.
The significance of the GSLV-D5 mission was that it featured an indigenous upper cryogenic stage.
M. Nageswara Rao, Project Director, GSAT-14, said, “The satellite has reached its final orbit today at a height of 36,000 km and 74 degrees east longitude. The in-orbit testing committee will meet on Monday to decide when to switch on the satellite’s payloads. It will take 10 to 15 days after January 20 to make the satellite operational. It will be ready for use by February 5.”
The satellite carries 12 transponders and it will be useful for telecommunication, broadcasting television programmes, telemedicine and beaming tele-education programmes for college students.
After the GSLV-D5 put the 1,982 kg GSAT-14 into its initial elliptical orbit with a perigee of 179 km and an apogee of 35,950 km on January 5, ground controllers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) boosted the orbit on January 6, 7 and 9 to a near-circular, geostationary orbit of almost 36,000 km.
After January 9, the satellite started slowly drifting and reached its final abode on January 18.