Ground controllers of the Indian Space Research Organisation raised the elliptical orbit of the GSAT-14 again on Tuesday to make it more circular.

They sent out commands from the Master Control Facility at Hassan, Karnataka, to the satellite’s propulsion system or Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM). The LAM engine crackled for 44 minutes, raising the orbit to a perigee of 32,160 km and an apogee of 35,745 km. The inclination achieved was 0.6 degree. When it was first fired on Monday, the LAM helped the 1,982-kg satellite realise an orbit of 8,966 km (perigee) by 35,744 km (apogee).

M. Nageswara Rao, Project Director, GSAT-14, said that during the third orbit-raising manoeuvre scheduled for January 9, the LAM would be fired for 193 seconds. If successful, the operation would take the satellite to a much more circular orbit with a perigee of 35,564 km and an apogee of 35,741 km. The inclination will be 0.25 degree.

Then “the satellite will slow down and move towards its final orbit. It is expected to reach the final circular orbit with an inclination of 74 degrees east on January 20. We will declare it usable by January 27.”

The satellite, launched by the GSLV-D5 on January 5, was in good health, Mr. Rao said. Its final, circular geo-stationary orbit would be at a height of 36,000 km.

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