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Indonesian Satellite Reaches Preset Orbit Despite Skewed Launch

File image: Palapa D.
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (XNA) Sep 14, 2009
Indonesian communication satellite Palapa D entered its geosynchronous orbit on September 9, despite an ignition failure on the rocket that carried the satellite more than a week ago, the satellite's manufacturer said Saturday.

The satellite had conducted a number of orbit maneuvers in order to get into the geosynchronous orbit, and was in normal state, the company said.

Reynald Seznec, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space, said on Wednesday that the fuel Palapa D carried was enough for the satellite to operate for about 10 years in its orbit, 2/3 of the contracted service time.

Palapa D was launched atop a China-made Long March 3B rocket on August 31 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.

It did not reach its preset orbit after the third stage of the Long March rocket failed during a second-time ignition. The satellite was captured a few hours later, and was able to conduct orbit maneuvers.

The Palapa D satellite, owned by Indonesian satellite communications company Indosat, was supposed to provide satellite links and broadcasting services for Indonesia and other southeastern Asian nations.

Indosat ordered the satellite from Thales Alenia Space in 2007.

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