The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shifted the attitude control mode of the Engineering Test Satellite VIII "KIKU No. 8" to the regular control mode at 4:14 a.m. on December 27, 2006 (Japan Standard Time, JST). All functions of the satellite have been verified to be normal after the control mode shift.
This marks the end of the critical phase, and we are moving to the initial functional verification phase.
In the initial functional verification phase, it will take about two weeks for the orbit to be gradually coordinated to the target Geostationary orbit at an east longitude of 146 degrees from the current drift orbit. Also, we will check the onboard equipment for about three and half months in cooperation with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT,) who are the collaborative development organizations of the "KIKU No. 8."
We would like to extend our profound appreciation to all related parties who have supported the launch and tracking and control operations of the "KIKU No. 8."