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PSLV-C38 lobs 31 satellites into orbit

PSLV - C38 Cartosat-2 Series Satellite being launched from Sriharikota on Friday.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday successfully launched 31 satellites – 29 of them belonging to other countries through a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).

The PSLV-C38 took off from the first launchpad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) in Sriharikota at 9.29 a.m.

The PSLV, in its 40th flight, carried the Cartosat-2 series, main payload that weighs 712 kg, and NIUSAT from the Noorul Islam University, Kanniyakumari. Representatives of the client countries watched from the Mission Control as their spacecraft were placed in orbit. 

The Cartosat-2, the sixth in the series, was placed in a 505 km polar sun synchronous orbit, at 16.43 minutes after the launch and the final satellite was injected into orbit at 23 minutes. The total payload weighed 955 kg at liftoff. The Cartosat will provide remote sensing services for about five years. 

The other 29 nano satellites belonged to Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Cartosat-2 series

PSLV-C38 lobs 31 satellites into orbit

The Cartosat-2 will be used for cartographic applications, coastal land use and regulation, road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, Land Information Systems (LIS) and Geograhical Information System (GIS) applications, the ISRO said.

With this PSLV launch, the ISRO now has the confidence to put a number of satellites into different orbits in a single mission, Mission Director B. Jayakumar said.

“Initially it [PSLV]  was designed to put satellites in sun synchronous orbit… we could establish it could cater to any type of orbits – geo synchronous, sun synchronous or low inclination orbit, carrying multiple satellites; Everything has been established. I m sure this will be a major attraction for foreign satellite customers,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

PSLV, a credible launch vehicle

ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said the PSLV was emerging as a credible launch vehicle for anybody across the globe, “both because of the frequency at which the launch is happening and also the access and timeline within which satellites can be put into orbit”.

The ISRO was improving its capabilities in new areas with each launch. “I am sure PSLV will continue to be the demanded vehicle for going into lower orbits,” he said.

The replacement satellite for the IRNSS-1A, in which the clocks had stopped working on the first one, would be launched soon. “The IRNSS-1A service is available. IRNSS can be used for many applications and already there are companies that have started building specific hardware and using the resource,” he said.

Communication satellite GSAT-17 would be launched on June 28 from French Guiana and GSAT-11 later this year.

Various teams were working on the second Mars Orbiter Mission, Venus Mission and the Asteroid Mission. “Very soon, we will be finalising our plan of action. Then we will get the necessary approvals from the government and move ahead. Right now we have not confirmed what will be beyond our Aditya. Right now Chandrayaan-II and Aditya are the two missions for which we have approvals,” Mr. Kumar said. 

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 10:58:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/pslv-c38-blasts-off-with-31-satellites-onboard/article19131728.ece

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