New Delhi: The Indian space agency ISRO successfully disposed of the GSAT-12 satellite in a post-mission disposal (PMD) operation last month. It was a communication satellite.
According to ISRO sources, this post-mission operation of GSAT-12 satellite was completed on March 23, 2023. It was twenty-third Geosynchronous Earth Orbital (GEO) satellite of India to undergo PMD before decommissioning. The satellite served for more than a decade.
The GEO regime is one of the most populated and highly utilised regions. Internationally accepted space debris mitigation guidelines by the UN and IADC recommend disposing of an object away from the GEO region at its end-of-life.
Hence, the final disposal orbit must meet specific criteria on the minimum raise in perigee altitude depending on the object’s reflectivity, mass, shape, and size. The graveyard orbit also needs to be nearly circular (very low orbital eccentricity, less than or equal to 0.003).
Space Debris Mitigation guidelines also recommend passivation/removing all energy sources, fluidic and electrical, to minimise the risk of any post-mission accidental break-up.
All operations were conducted by MCF, Hassan, in coordination with U R Rao Satellite Centre, SATCOM Programme Office, and IS4OM (ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management).