At a stroke, PSLV C-34 lobs 20 satellites into orbit

The rocket’s main cargo is India’s 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite, to be used for Earth observation. Photo: V. Ganesan  

In one go, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday launched 20 satellites. They include two student satellites from Indian universities and 17 of four foreign countries.

A PSLV C-34 rocket lifted off at 9.25 a.m. from the Second Launch Pad in the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, and 16 minutes later placed a Cartosat-2 Series satellite about 505 km above the Earth's orbit. In the next 10 minutes, the remaining satellites were placed in the intended orbits.

Soon after the launch, ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said, "With this mission, we have launched the current generation Earth observation satellite along with 17 satellites from foreign countries."

Satish Dhawan Space Centre Director P. Kunhikrishnan said it was a "major milestone" for ISRO to launch 20 satellites in a single mission.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space agency, describing the launch as an “monumental” accomplishment.

“20 satellites in a go! @isro continues to break new barriers. Hearty congratulations to our scientists on the monumental accomplishment’, he said on Twitter.

The 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 would be used for Earth observation. According to ISRO, the imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation and utility management like road networking.

It may be recalled that ISRO, in 2008, launched 10 satellites in a single rocket. On April 28, 2008, PSLV-C9 launched a Remote Sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A along with Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) and eight nanosatellites.

In 2014, Russia launched 37 satellites in a single mission.

Two cross sectional views of PSLVC34 payload. Photo: MIB

PSLV performs tricky experiments

PSLV C-34, besides putting 20 satellites in orbit, performed two tricky experiments of the same nature. Fifty minutes after the satellites were injected into the orbit from the fourth stage of the vehicle, the rocket's engine was re-ignited for five seconds. Then it was shut down for 50 minutes and re-ignited for another five seconds, according to K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. >Continue reading...

Top 10 facts:

» India’s earth observation spacecraft Cartosat-2 Series satellite and 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off would be injected into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
» The primary satellite to be carried by PSLV C-34 rocket is similar to Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B satellites launched earlier. The imagery to be sent by the satellite would be useful for cartographic applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road networking, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System and Geographical Information System applications.
» LAPAN-A3 (Indonesia): The microsatellite is for Earth observation and is intended to be used to monitor land use, natural resource and environment.
» M3MSat (Canada): Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Micro-Satellite is a technology demonstrator mission jointly funded and managed by Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The satellite’s primary mission is to collect and study Automatic Identification System signals from low-Earth orbit.
» GHGSat-D (Canada): Built by Space Flight Laboratory of the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, the Earth observation satellite is meant for measuring the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (Carbon Dioxide and Methane).
» BIROS (Germany): Berlin Infrared Optical System (BIROS) is a small scientific satellite from the German Aerospace Center and its mission objective is the remote sensing of high temperature events.
» SkySat Gen2-1 (U.S.): Designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google company based in Mountain View, California in the U.S., the small Earth imaging satellite is capable of capturing sub-meter resolution imagery and HD video.
» Dove Satellites (U.S.): A total of 12 Flock-2P Earth imaging satellites are to be launched in this mission. They would be packed in three dispensers.
» Sathyabamasat (Sathyabama University, Chennai): The satellite aims to collect data on green house gases.
» Swayam (College of Engineering, Pune): The satellite aims to provide point to point messaging services to the HAM (amateur radio) community.

(With inputs from news agencies)

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 9:46:22 PM |

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