In the first critical orbit-raising manoeuvre, conducted at 6:57 am (IST) this morning (September 29, 2003), the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board INSAT-3E was fired for 82 minutes by commanding the satellite from Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan. With this LAM firing, INSAT-3E perigee (closest point to the earth) has been raised from 649 km at the time of launch to 14,970 km at present. The apogee (farthest point to earth) remains at 35,900 km and the inclination of the orbit with respec
t to the equatorial plane has been reduced from 7 deg. at the time of launch to the present 1.9 deg. The orbital period is 15 hours 30 minutes.

It may be recalled that INSAT-3E was launched by Ariane-5 of Arianespace yesterday (September 28, 2003) from Kourou, French Guyana. The satellite had gone out of visibility of MCF, Hassan, at 3 pm yesterday and came within its visibility at 2:24 am IST this morning.

All systems on board the satellite are functioning normally. The satellite will go out of MCF visibility again at about 2 pm IST this afternoon and come within its visibility at 8:30 am tomorrow. Further orbit raising maneuvers are planned in the next few days.