Indosat's Palapa-D Satellite Successfully Placed Into A Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Monday, September 07, 2009

Indosat's Palapa-D Satellite
One of the biggest Indonesia's cellular services operator, PT Indosat Tbk states that PALAPA-D satellite was successfully placed in the normal position of its Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), after launched on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 17:28 pm Xichang time, or 16:28 pm western Indonesia time.

A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) is an intermediate orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit. It is a highly elliptical earth orbit with apogee at about 35,700 km, geostationary (GEO) altitude, and an argument of perigee such that apogee occurs on or near the equator.

Gradually the PALAPA-D satellite will be controlled to move into the Geostationary Syncronous Orbit expected to be reached in mid-September 2009. Next, will be done an "in orbit test" for all functions and parameters of the satellite, so it can immediately replace Palapa-C2. Currently, the Earth Station Jatiluhur also been able to monitor the condition of PALAPA-D satellite in normal conditions.

Palapa-D satellite, also known as Palapa D1, is an Indonesian geostationary communications satellite, operated by Indosat. It was built by Thales Alenia Space, based on the Spacebus-4000B3 satellite bus, and carries thirty five G/H band and five J band transponders (US IEEE C and Ku bands respectively).

It is intended to be positioned in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 113º East, where it will replaced the Palapa C2 satellite.

Indosat ordered Palapa-D from Thales Alenia Space in 2007. The satellite was built without using American components, and is therefore not restricted by US International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which allowed the China Great Wall Industry Corporation to be selected as a launch service provider.

A Long March 3B rocket, flying from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre was used to launch it. A partial launch failure initially left it in a low orbit. The satellite was then placed into the proper orbit after three boost maneuvers.
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