The first critical orbit-raising manoeuvre of GSAT-8 was successfully conducted on Sunday with the firing of the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board the satellite for 95 minutes by commanding the spacecraft from ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka.

The satellite was oriented suitably before the start of LAM operations prior to this critical manoeuvre, Bangalore- based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

With this LAM operation, GSAT-8 perigee has been raised to 15,786 km. The apogee is at 35,768 km and the inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced from 2.5 degrees at the time of entering into orbit to 0.5 degrees now. The present orbital period is 15 hours 56 minutes.

The critical manoeuvre was conducted at 03:58 hrs today.

GSAT-8 was successfully launched by Ariane 5 yesterday from Kourou in French Guiana, South America. The 3,100 kg GSAT-8 is primarily aimed at augmenting India’s direct-to-home TV broadcast services.

The launch vehicle placed GSAT-8 in the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (closest point to earth) of 258 km and apogee (farthest point to earth) of 35,861 km.

“All systems onboard the satellite are functioning normally”, the space agency said.