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ISRO launches 31 satellites
Giving a major impetus to Indian Space Programme, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched successfully 31 satellites using 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), PSLV-C40, on Friday from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.
According to an ISRO Press release issued in Bengaluru the lift-off of PSLV-C40 occurred at 9:29 am IST from the First Launch Pad. After a flight lasting 16 minutes 37 seconds, the satellites achieved the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 503 km inclined at an angle of 97.55 degree to the equator. In the succeeding seven minutes, Cartosat-2 series satellite, INS-1C and 28 customer satellites successfully separated from the PSLV in a pre-determined sequence. “The fourth stage of PSLV-C40 fired twice for short durations to achieve a polar orbit of 365 km height in which India’s Microsat successfully separated” it adds.
“After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide remote sensing data using its panchromatic (black and white) and multispectral (colour) cameras” the release said.
The 11 kg INS-1C and the 100 kg class Microsat, the two Indian co-passenger satellites of Cartosat-2 are also being monitored and controlled from ISTRAC, Bengaluru.
The 28 international customer satellites belong to Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and the USA. So far, PSLV has successfully launched 51 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.
The Cartosat-2, whose imagery will be used to develop various land and geographical information system applications, was placed in a circular polar sun synchronous orbit 505 km from the Earth. The satellite’s design life is five years.
Two Indian satellites which was launched by PSLV C-40 a technology demonstrators, signifies miniaturisation. “This is a technology demonstrator and the forerunner for future satellites of this series,” the ISRO said. The other one, Indian Nano Satellite (INS) - 1C, is the third in its series; its predecessors were part of the PSLV-C37 launch of February 2017.
Of the two, one is a microsatellite of the 100 kg class. “This is a technology demonstrator and the forerunner for future satellites of this series,” the ISRO said. “With a capability to carry up to 3 kg of payload and a total satellite mass of 11 kg, it offers immense opportunities for future use,” the ISRO said.
Of the 28 foreign satellites, launched as part of deals made by ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited, three were microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites. There were 19 satellites from the United States and five from South Korea. The United Kingdom, France, Canada and Finland had a satellite each.
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