50th PSLV launch carries radar satellite

PSLV-C48 lifts off from the first launch-pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, December 11, 2019   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) marked its ‘Golden Jubilee’ launch on Wednesday by injecting India’s advanced radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR1 and 9 other customer satellites from Japan, Italy, Israel and the U.S.A. into their intended orbits. 

The PSLV, which has a history of successful launches of payloads that include Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission and the space recovery mission, soared into clear blue skies at 3.25 p.m. from the refurbished first launchpad, marking the 50th launch for the vehicle. 

“Today’s launch was a historical mission,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan, said from Mission Control after the successful launch. 

“We also achieved a major milestone of 75 launches from our spaceport today. Initially, the PSLV had a carrying capacity of 850 kg, and over the years it has been enhanced to 1.9 tonnes. The PSLV is very versatile having various mission options,” Mr. Sivan added.

The PSLV had helped take payloads into almost all the orbits in space including Geo-Stationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the Moon, Mars and would soon be launching a mission to the Sun, the ISRO chief noted.

Mr. Sivan observed that in the last 26 years, the PSLV had lifted more than 52 tonnes into space, of which about 17% were for commercial customers.  “Clearly, this vehicle has done wonders,” he said, while commending the work of all the scientists who had built the workhorse vehicle from ground up and brought it to its current status. He also released a book commemorating the 50 launches and the scientists involved in them.

The PSLV has failed only twice in its history — the maiden flight of the PSLV D1 in September 1993 and the PSLV C-39 in August 2017.

S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre said while it had taken ISRO 26 years to achieve 50 launches, the next 50 would likely be done in the coming five years.

The RISAT-2BR1 will be used for agriculture, forestry, disaster management support and national security. ISRO will launch the next version of RISAT within the next two months, said P. Kunhikrishnan, Director, UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC).

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 9:37:39 AM |

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