ISRO decommissioned Communication Satellite INSAT-3E

Apr 3, 2014 14:28 IST

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO on 1 April 2014 decommissioned the Communication Satellite INSAT-3E. The satellite was decommissioned after it completed ten and half years in orbit as it had stopped working on 29 March 2014.

The satellite was facing problems for quite some time. Earlier it ran out of the on-board oxidizer. The oxidizer along with fuel keep it Earth-locked and fixed over India and helped satellite to perform daily functions.


In September 2012, the satellite blinked and disrupted services for about 24 hours and was restored later. Also since 2009, only 25 transponders out of 36 were functioning properly.

ISRO claimed that there will not be any adverse impact on the users. It has started shifting process of the INSAT-3E users on to standby capacities on some of its other satellites on 22 March 2014. The process is still going on.

Now, the ISRO have 189 transponders on its ISRO/GSAT fleet. Other 91 additional transponders leased on foreign satellites.

In order to prevent collision of the satellite with other working spacecrafts of other countries, the Master Control Facility at Hasan will move the satellite into a higher orbit.

The satellite was launched in September 2003 and was expected to give 15 years of service. The third generation satellite had 36 transponders (24 C-band and 12 extended).


During its service span, INSAT-3E performed following functions:

  • Its C-band supported communication networks of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, National Thermal Corporation and BSNL and other organizations.
  • Its 10 extended C-band transponders supported VSAT operators.
  • It provided tele-education services to the distant users.
  • It provided high communication services.
  • It facilitated efficient TV broadcast services.

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