Indonesia’s Palapa-D satellite is working

At last, we can take a free breath, our Indonesia's Palapa D is now working. I take this article as my reference. Have a read!

Palapa-D is working ‘nominally’, which is satellite-speak for all is OK, as far as its builders are concerned. A statement issued Sept 2 by Thales Alenia Space said the satellite’s signals have been picked up by their Earth station at Fucino, Italy. However, the likelihood is that there will be some sort of insurance claim from the satellite’s owners – which for the moment is Thales itself.

Which is not to say there’s not work still to be done. Thales Alenia’s engineers have now to remotely reconfigure the Indosat craft’s on-board computers to gently push Palapa-D into its correct orbit.

“Thales Alenia Space and Indosat are proceeding to necessary maneuvers in order to optimize and reconfigure the flight plan from its lower than expected transfer orbit into a geostationary orbit,” said their statement. However, the indication that the satellite is performing correctly – despite its non-conventional elliptical orbit – is extremely good news for Indosat.

The downside is that undoubtedly the use of the satellite’s on-board propellant is bound to impact the satellite’s expected 15-year life – and this is bound to trigger an insurance claim. It is much too soon to predict what the precise impact is likely to be on the satellite, but it is likely to be measured in years, rather than months, of in-orbit service.

The Palapa-D contract was a ‘build and launch’ contract so Thales Alenia own – and are responsible for - the satellite until it safely reaches its correct orbit at 113 deg East, where it was intended to replace an old Boeing 601 craft (Palapa-C2) that has been in position since 1996.


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  1. Its good...... when the satelite start operated in Indonesia sky? (ckikikikikikiki.... my english rek)

  2. the rumours say it will operate in the middle of October 2009 bro...

    we'll wait for it...


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