Chennai: In the first critical orbit-raising manoeuvre, conducted at 6:57 am (IST) on 29 September 2003, India's latest communication satellite Insat-3E was raised to 14,970 km perigee (closest point to the earth) by firing the on board440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM). The motor was fired for 82 minutes from the Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan.
The apogee (farthest point to earth) remains at 35,900 km and the inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced from 7 degree at the time of launch to the present 1.9 deg. The orbital period is 15 hours 30 minutes.
Insat-3E was launched by Ariane-5 of Arianespace on 28 September 2003 from Kourou, French Guyana. The satellite had gone out of visibility of MCF, Hassan, at 3 pm on 28 September and came within its visibility at 2:24 am IST on 29 September morning.
According to the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), all systems on board the satellite are functioning normally. The satellite came to MCF's visibility at 8.30 on 29 September. Further orbit raising manoeuvres are planned in the next few days.