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After Chandrayaan-3 launch, ISRO prepares for a PSLV mission

PSLV-C56, a commercial mission that will have seven satellites as payloads, scheduled to lift off from Sriharikota on July 26

July 16, 2023 07:38 pm | Updated July 17, 2023 02:39 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

ISRO has used the PSLV-Core Alone variant for several missions including the latest, the PSLV-C55 mission, which was launched successfully on April 22, 2023.

ISRO has used the PSLV-Core Alone variant for several missions including the latest, the PSLV-C55 mission, which was launched successfully on April 22, 2023. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

After Friday’s spectacular start to the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission, scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be back in Sriharikota for another important launch later this month.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle — C56 (PSLV-C56) mission is expected to lift off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre towards July-end — July 26 as per the latest updates.

ISRO will be using a ‘core alone’ variant of the PSLV for this mission, S. Unnikrishnan Nair, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO’s lead facility for launch vehicles, told The Hindu.

Payloads

A commercial mission, the PSLV-C56 will have seven payloads in all including the 351.9 kg earth observation satellite DS-SAR (short for Synthetic Aperture Radar) from Singapore. The others are Arcade (23.58 kg), Velox-AM (23 kg) and Orb-12 Strider (12.8 kg). The remaining three are nanosatellites weighing less than 10 kg each. They are the Galassia-2 (3.84 kg), SCOOB-II (4.1 kg) and NuLIon (3.05 kg), according to a list provided by the VSSC. These satellites will be placed in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

As the name suggests, the PSLV-Core Alone (PSLV-CA) variant does not use solid rocket strap-on motors in its first stage for added thrust. Other variants use up to six strap-ons.

Flexible launch vehicle

‘’The PSLV variants are used depending on the mission requirements. The PSLV is a flexible launch vehicle which can be rigged with two, four or six strap-ons depending on the need,’‘ Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair said. ISRO has used the CA variant for several missions including the latest, the PSLV-C55 mission, which was launched successfully on April 22, 2023, with the Singapore satellites TeLEOS-2 and Lumelite-4 on board.

July has been a busy month for the Indian space agency. On July 14, Friday, it had successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3, India’s third moon mission, on board the LVM3 launch vehicle. The lander-rover configuration on the spacecraft is expected to be ready for the moon landing around August 23.

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