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In 1st mission of 2018, Indian space agency 'ISRO' launches 100th satellite

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 12, Jan 2018, 10:11 am IST | UPDATED: 12, Jan 2018, 10:51 am IST

In 1st mission of 2018, Indian space agency 'ISRO' launches 100th satellite New Delhi: Space agency ISRO this morning successfully sent up a rocket carrying India's 100th satellite along with 30 others, four months after failed launch.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV C40 lifted off at 9.29 am from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and a key component that had failed in August worked this time, causing scientists to gasp in relief at having crossed a major hurdle. The lift-off was postponed by a minute because of fear of collision with space debris.

In a pathbreaking feat, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its 100th satellite from the spaceport of Sriharikota, about 110 km from Chennai. ISRO’s trusted workhorse ‘PSLV-C40’ is carrying the weather observation ‘Cartosat-2’ series satellite and 30 co-passengers (together weighing about 613 kg) at lift-off at 9.28 am.

The 28-hour countdown activity of PSLV-C40/Cartosat2 Series Satellite Mission started at 05.29 hours IST yesterday. The 44.4 metre tall rocket is all set to lift off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The total weight of all the 31 satellites carried onboard PSLV-C40 is about 1,323 kgs.

The co-passenger satellites comprise one micro and nanosatellite each from India as well as three micro and 25 nanosatellites from six countries — Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The 28 international customer satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between ISRO and its commercial arm ‘Antrix Corporation Ltd’. Of the total number of satellites carried by PSLV-C40, 30 satellites will be launched into a 505 kms polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). K Sivan, now Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre,who has been named the next Secretary of Space Department and Chairman of Space Commission and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is a native of Tarakkanvilai in Kanyakumari district.

The last launch of IRNSS-1H - India's first privately built satellite -- on August 31 last year had failed because of a freak accident. This is the 42nd flight of the PSLV.

The facts:

  • The 30 other satellites include two other satellites from India and 28 satellites from six countries -- Canada, Finland, France, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Scientists said the mission is a unique one, since the satellites will be launched in two orbits. Thirty of the satellites will be launched in an orbit 550 km about, and one 359-km above the Earth.
  • This will be done through what scientists call the "multiple burn technology" under which the rocket's engine is switched off and then switched on to control its height.
  • The whole process of placing the satellites in two orbits will take 2 hours 21 minutes -- the longest so far. The 28-hour countdown for the launch of the PSLV started at 5.29 am on Thursday.
  • The 710-kg earth observation satellite the PSLV is carrying the third in the Cartosat 2 series. The last satellite of the series had been launched successfully in June 2016.
  • ISRO had brushed off speculations of sabotage after the last satellite launch failure. Scientists said a tiny but vital equipment of the rocket had failed, due to which its protective heat shield could not be separated.
  • The heat shield of a satellite is meant to protect it from the heat generated by the friction against atmosphere during take-off.
  • The launch became necessary after three atomic clocks of one satellite started malfunctioning. Atomic clocks provide navigational data, and they are crucial for a Global positioning system.
  • NAViC, a system of seven satellites, powers India's powerful homegrown Global Positioning System.
  • ISRO's workhorse PSLV rocket weighs nearly 320 tonnes and stands up to 44.4 meters, equivalent to a 15-storey building.

What you need to know:
  • ISRO adopted an optimum separation sequence of all its satellites so as to avoid any collisions.
  • The 31 satellites with a combined weight of 1,323 kg were integrated with the PSLV for deploying them in the earth's lower orbit after lift off.
  • The four stage PSLV-C40 stands 44.4 metres tall and weighs about 320 tonne.
  • The Indian satellites are 710 kg Cartosat-2 series for Earth observation as the primary satellite of the mission, along with co-passenger payloads, including 100 kg micro satellite and a 10 kg nano satellite.
  • About 17 minutes 18 seconds after the lift off, the Cartosat-2 series was separated and injected into its 505 km sun synchronous orbit.
  • The Cartosat-2 has been designed to stay in its orbit for five years.
  • According to ISRO, Cartosat-2 series satellite launch was a follow-on mission with the primary objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imageries.
  • The spaceport Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SDSC-SHAR) is located about 80 km northeast of Chennai off the Bay of Bengal coast.
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