The Indian Space Research Organisation used a modified PSLV rocket to place India’s communications satellite GSAT-12 in orbit on Friday evening from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.
The modified PSLV C17 (named PSLV XL) had a smooth journey and after 24 minutes placed the satellite in the orbit. “It was near perfect, as the final transfer orbit was just 8 km away from the intended orbit. This launch has proved the versatility of the PSLV,” said ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan.
The last time this configuration was used in the 2008 Chandrayaan mission that sent India’s satellite around the moon.
The last two GSLV missions, the first with an indigenous cryogenic engine and the second with a Russian engine in the third stage, had ended in disasters. Two communication satellites were lost. ISRO had to go to European Space Agency to launch its next communication satellite in May 2011.