PSLV-C51, the first dedicated launch by NSIL, successfully launches Amazonia-1 and 18 Co-passenger satellites from Sriharikota
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre - an aerial view
Rohini Sounding Rocket (RH 200) getting ready for launch




February 07, 2002

INSAT-3C Reaches Its Space Home

INSAT-3C satellite of ISRO, which was launched by Ariane on January 24, 2002 from Kourou in French Guyana, has been successfully placed in its final geo-stationary orbit and located at 74 deg East longitude.

It may be recalled that, after the injection of the satellite into geo-stationary transfer orbit by Ariane launch vehicle, orbit-raising manoeuvres were carried out from Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan, by firing the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor of the satellite to place it in the geo-stationary orbit. At the end of these manoeuvres on January 30, 2002, the satellite was located at 63 deg East longitude and it was drifting towards its designated orbital slot. In this drift orbit, deployment of antennas and solar panels of the satellite was carried out on January 31, 2002 and it was placed in three-axes stabilised mode on February 1, 2002.

In the last four days, station acquisition manoeuvres were successfully conducted from MCF, Hassan, by firing the 10 Newton Reaction Control Thrusters on board to position the satellite precisely at 74 deg East longitude. INSAT-3C will be maintained in this location for the rest of its service life.

In the coming weeks, the payloads comprising 24 C-band transponders, six extended C-band transponders, two S-band transponders and the mobile satellite service transponders will be tested before INSAT-3C is commissioned in to service by the end of February 2002.


March 20, 2000

INSAT-3B Ready for Launch

All preparations for the launch of INSAT-3B, the first satellite in the third generation INSAT-3 series, built by ISRO, have been completed at the launch site in Kourou, French Guyana. The 2,070 kg spacecraft has undergone extensive tests after it was integrated with the Ariane-505 vehicle and all the systems are functioning normally.

The Flight Readiness Review for the 128th launch of the Ariane with INSAT-3B and its co-passenger, Asiastar belonging to a US company, World Space, was completed on March 17, 2000 and the launch is now scheduled at 04:27 hours IST on March 22, 2000 (22:57 hours on March 21, 2000 GMT). The launch vehicle is expected to be rolled out from the final assembly building to the launch pad this evening around 7.30 pm IST. INSAT-3B launch is expected to be telecast live by Doordarshan (DD-1) from 03.47 am to 05.54 am (IST) on March 22, 2000.

April 12, 2003

INSAT-3A Orbit Raised Further

In the second orbit raising manoeuvre, conducted at 12 noon (IST) today (April 12, 2003), the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board INSAT-3A was fired for 53 minutes by commanding the satellite from Master Control Facility (MCF), Hassan. With this LAM firing, INSAT-3A perigee (closest point to the earth) has been raised from 11,500 km to 32,750 km. The apogee is 36,000 km and the inclination of the orbit with respect to the equatorial plane has been reduced from 0.9 deg to the present 0.1 deg. INSAT-3A now has an orbital period of 22 hour, 40 minutes.

The satellite will now be in the continuous radio visibility of MCF-Hassan. INSAT-3A was launched by Ariane-5 of Arianespace on April 10, 2003 from Kourou, French Guyana, and the first orbit raising manoeuvre was carried out from MCF-Hassan yesterday (April 11, 2003). The satellite came within the radio visibility of MCF this morning at 5:50 a.m. (IST), and all the necessary operations like earth acquisition and gyro calibration were carried out before the second orbit raising manoeuvre was started.All systems on board INSAT-3A are functioning normally.

Third apogee raising manoeuvre is planned on April 14, 2003. Vice President Congratulates ISRO: Vice President of India, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat has congratulated ISRO on the successful launch of INSAT-3A on April 10, 2003 from Kourou, French Guyana. The Vice President conveyed his message over telephone to Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman, ISRO at Kourou.

April 19, 2003

INSAT-3A Meteorological Cameras Tested

The meteorological instruments on board INSAT-3A have been tested in the last two days and the pictures received indicate good performance of both the cameras. It may be noted that INSAT-3A, which was launched on April 10, 2003, carries two meteorological cameras


A three-channel Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km spatial resolution in the Visible spectral band and 8 km resolution in Thermal Infrared band and Water Vapour band


A Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Camera, which operates in the Visible, Near Infrared and Shortwave Infrared bands, providing a spatial resolution of 1 km.

The CCD camera was tested on April 17th and the VHRR on April 18th.

vhrr1The first imagery from the INSAT-3A Very High Resolution Radiometer(VHRR). This was generated by combining the data received on April 18, 2003 in the Visible, Thermal Infrared and Water-Vapour bands.he first imagery from the INSAT-3A Charge Coupled Device(CCD) camera. This was generated by combining the data received on April 17, 2003 in the Visible, Near Infrared and Shortwave Infrared bands.


April 10, 2003

INSAT-3A Launched

The multipurpose satellite, INSAT-3A, built by ISRO, was successfully launched early this morning (April 10, 2003) by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace. INSAT-3A is the third satellite in the INSAT-3 series; INSAT-3B and INSAT-3C were launched by Ariane-5 and Ariane-4 launch vehicles on March 22, 2000 and January 24, 2002 respectively.

The 160th flight of Ariane, carrying ISRO's 2,950 kg INSAT-3A and GALAXI-XII of US, lifted off at 4.22 am IST from Kourou, French Guyana. INSAT-3A was injected into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), 30 minutes after the lift-off in 3-axis stabilized mode, with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 859 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 36,055 km and an inclination of 1.99 deg. with respect to the equator. The satellite is at present going round the earth with an orbital period of about 10 hours 47 minutes.

The Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka acquired the telemetry signal from INSAT-3A at 04.52 am IST. The initial health checks on the satellite indicate that the performance of the satellite is normal. First operations on the satellite were carried out by issuing commands from the MCF. The outermost panel of the stowed solar array of INSAT-3A was oriented towards the Sun to start generating the electrical power required by the satellite. Subsequently, the earth viewing face was oriented towards the earth and calibration of the gyros on board the satellite was carried out.

INSAT-3A is being tracked, monitored and controlled from MCF. During the initial phase of INSAT-3A operations, MCF also utilises INMARSAT Organisation's ground stations at Beijing (China), Fucino (Italy) and Lake Cowichan (Canada). The satellite's orbit is being precisely determined by continuous ranging from the participating Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) ground stations.

In the coming days, orbit raising operations of INSAT-3A will be carried out by firing its 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) in stages till the satellite attains its final geostationary orbit, which is about 36,000 km above the equator. The satellite has about 1.6 tonne of propellant (Mono-Methyl Hydrazine - MMH fuel and Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen - MON-3 oxidiser) for orbit raising operations as well as for station keeping and in-orbit attitude control. The on-orbit propellant availability will enable maintaining the satellite for operational services for a period of 12 years.

When the satellite reaches near-geostationary orbit, deployment of its solar panels and the two antennas as well as the solar sail will be carried out and the satellite put in its final 3-axis stabilised mode. This will be followed by trim manoeuvres to take the satellite to its designated orbital slot. The payloads will be subsequently checked out before the commissioning of the satellite.

INSAT-3A will be positioned at 93.5 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit. Other INSAT satellite locations are: INSAT-2DT at 55 deg East longitude, INSAT-2E and INSAT-3B at 83 deg East longitude, INSAT-3C and KALPANA-1 at 74 deg East longitude.

INSAT-3A has the main body in the shape of a cuboid of 2.0 x 1.77 x 2.8 m. When its solar panel and solar sail are fully deployed in orbit, the satellite will measure 24.4 m in length. INSAT-3A's Sun tracking solar panels generate 3.1 kW of power. Two 70 Ah Nickel-Hydrogen batteries support full payload operations even during eclipses. INSAT-3A, like all its predecessors in the INSAT series, is a 3-axis body-stabilised spacecraft using earth sensors, sun sensors, inertial reference unit, momentum/reaction wheels and magnetic torquers. It is equipped with bi-propellant thrusters. The satellite has two deployable antennas and one fixed antenna that carry out various transmit and receive functions.

INSAT-3A Communication Payloads comprise:


1. 12 C-band transponders, nine of which have expanded coverage providing an Edge-of-Coverage (EoC) Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) of 38 dBW and other three having India coverage beam providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW.


2. Six upper extended C-band transponders having India beam coverage providing an EoC-EIRP of 37 dBW.


3. Six Ku-band transponders having India coverage beam providing an EoC-EIRP of 47.5 dBW and


4. A Satellite Aided Search & Rescue (SAS&R) transponder.

The Meteorological Payloads include:


1. Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) with 2 km resolution in the visible spectral band and 8 km resolution in infrared and water vapour bands.


2. Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera operating in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared bands with 1 km resolution.


3. Data Relay Transponder (DRT)

INSAT-3A is expected to augment the present INSAT capacity for communication and broadcasting, besides providing meteorological services along with INSAT-2E and KALPANA-1.

With ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore, as the lead Centre, INSAT-3A was realised with major contributions from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala and Bangalore, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram. Besides, several industries in both public and private sectors have contributed to the realisation of INSAT-3A. MCF is responsible for initial and in-orbit operation of all geo-stationary satellites of ISRO.

Earlier INSAT satellites


Launch Date

Launch Vehicle



Apr 10, 1982

Delta 3920

Could not fulfill mission


Aug 30, 1983

Space Shuttle

Fulfilled mission


Jul 22, 1988


Premature termination of services after six months of operations


Jun 12, 1990

Delta 2

Fulfilled mission


July 10, 1992

Ariane 4

Fulfilled mission


July 23, 1993

Ariane 4

Fulfilled mission


Dec 7, 1995

Ariane 4

Fulfilled mission


Jun 4, 1997

Ariane 4

Premature termination of services after three months of operations


In-orbit procurement from Arabsat- In service


Apr 3, 1999

Ariane 4

In service


Mar 22, 2000

Ariane 5

In service


Jan 24, 2002

Ariane 4

In service


Sep 12, 2002


In service