On Sep. 13 (Fri), the Data Relay Test Satellite “Kodama” launched at 5:20 p.m. on Sep. 10 (Japan Standard Time) was maneuvered to go into the drift orbit* whose altitude is approximately the same as the geostationary orbit by firing the apogee engine (the third apogee firing). The altitude of the satellite after the third firing, however, was lower than expected, thus it was further controlled on the 14th (Sat), and, consequently, “Kodama” was successfully placed into the scheduled orbit.

After being injected into the proper orbit, two antennas, the feeder link antenna for data communication with the ground stations, and the inter-satellite communication antenna for communication with spacecraft, were deployed and verified with data from a satellite on the 15th. The three-axis attitude stabilization** was also established on the 15th, and the satellite is now stabilized.

Now, the preparatory phase, which is also known as the “critical phase” indicating its importance, has been completed. From now on, the station acquisition*** of the satellite in geostationary orbit will be carried out for about a month, and it will be stabilized at the east longitude of 90.75 degrees over the equator (above the Indian Ocean). In parallel, various checkups of onboard equipment will be conducted for about four months. After completing all the checkups, NASDA will start the full-scale operation of “Kodama”. (Taking the life of “Kodama” as that of a human being, the satellite just became independent from parents’ care, and started to function in the society.)

As the critical phase is over, this NASDA would like to conclude the tracking and control report of “Kodama”.

We would like to send our deepest appreciation to all of the personnel who have been supporting and cooperating with the launch, tracking, and control operation. We hope your continued support to NASDA missions.