In its 50th flight, PSLV launchesten satellites in orbit
The PSLV C48 took off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 03:25 pm.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 06:09 IST
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed an Indian radar earth imaging satellite and nine customer satellites from four other countries in orbit on Wednesday afternoon. This was the 50th flight of India’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). In the 26 years since its development, the launch vehicle has placed 61 Indian and 319 customer satellites in space.
The PSLV C48 took off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 03:25 pm. It injected into space the Indian satellite – RISAT 2BR1 –a 628 kg radar imaging earth observation satellite that will have applications in agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support. In just over 16 minutes from the launch, the satellite was placed at an altitude of 576 km.
“This was a historical mission, the 50th flight of the PSLV. What is waiting for us is to accomplish the next 50 launched in five years or so,” said S Somnath, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. This year, ISRO initiated an action plan to productionise PSLV through an industry consortium which will increase the output.
The PSLV has also been used for India’s space exploration missions, such as the Mars Orbiter Mission, Chandrayaan 1, and AstroSat, the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission.
The commercial satellites launched on Wednesday include six satellites from the US – four remote sensing satellites, one earth imaging satellite, and one for technology demonstration, one radar earth observation satellite from Japan, one remote sensing satellite from Israel, and one satellite for search and rescue from Italy.
A book titled “PSLV@50” was released by ISRO chairperson Dr K Sivan to commemorate the people behind designing and operationalising the launch vehicle as well as the directors who have been leading the project to success.
“Today, ISRO had a historic mission and I am extremely happy to declare that the 50th PSLV successfully injected RSAT 2BR1 and nine customer satellites precisely into orbit. Along with the 50th mission of PSLV, this mission was another major milestone for ISRO. It is the 75th launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. In the last 26 years, the PSLV has flown in five variations and carried 52.7 tonne to spaces, of which 17% of the mass belongs to customer satellites,” said Dr Sivan.
“The PSLV has visited almost all the places in the space. It has launched a satellite in an inclined orbit, it has launched a satellite in the polar orbit, it has launched a satellite in GTO (geosynchronous transfer orbit), it has sent a satellite to moon, it has sent a satellite to Mars, and now we are going to send a satellite to the sun,” said K Sivan.
With this mission, the success rate of this launch vehicle is 96%. “This is at par or better than the gold standard,” said Dr V Narayanan, director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
Following the separation of the India satellite on Wednesday, the nine customer satellites separated from the launch vehicle at between 17 and 21 minutes. The foreign satellite launches were secured by the newly created commercial arm of ISRO, the New Space India Limited.
This was the sixth launch of the year, including the big ticket Chandrayaan 2 mission. The space agency is planning to complete another PSLV launch in December, which will carry another five customer satellites along with its main payload. The launch of 3,450 kg communication satellite GSAT 30 is scheduled for mid-January by the European commercial launch provider Arianespace from French Guiana.