In the second orbit raising manoeuvre conducted at 12:22 hrs IST today (May 23, 2011), the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board GSAT-8 was fired for 35.8 minutes by commanding the satellite from ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan. With this LAM firing, GSAT-8 perigee (closest point to earth) has been raised to 32,385 km. The apogee (farthest point to earth) height remains at 35,768 km. The inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced to 0.06 deg. GSAT-8 now has an orbital period of 22 hours 29 minutes. The satellite will now be in the continuous radio visibility of MCF, Hassan.
GSAT-8 was launched by the European Ariane-5 launch vehicle on May 21, 2011 from Kourou, French Guiana. The launch vehicle had placed GSAT-8 in an orbit with a perigee of 258 km and apogee of 35,861 km with an inclination of 2.5 deg with respect to the equatorial plane. With the first orbit raising manoeuvre carried out from MCF, Hassan yesterday (May 22, 2011), GSAT-8 had been put in an intermediate orbit of 15,786 km perigee and 35,768 km apogee and the orbital inclination was reduced to 0.5 degree with respect to the equatorial plane.
The next orbit raising manoeuvre to place GSAT-8 in near Geosynchronous Orbit is planned on May 24, 2011. Deployment of the two solar panels and the two antennas will be carried out subsequently.