Scripting history, India on Monday successfully launched eight satellites into two different orbits through single flight PSLV-C35 rocket mission in its maiden attempt. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) most trusted workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 37th flight (PSLV-C35), carried and placed the 377 kg SCATSAT-1 and seven co-passenger satellites into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
The PSLV-C35 took off at 9.12 am from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota space port near here. This is 15th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).
The manoeuvre After a flight of 16 minutes 56 seconds, the vehicle achieved a polar SSO of 724 km inclined at an angle of 98.1 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit). About 37 seconds later, the primary satellite SCATSAT-1 was separated from the PSLV fourth stage.
Following the successful separation of SCATSAT-1, the PSLV-C35 mission continued and placed rest of the satellites in the required orbits. Accordingly, ALSAT-1 was the first co-passenger satellite to be separated successfully. Following this, rest of the satellites were separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence, thereby successfully completing PSLV-C35 mission.
“Today (Monday) is a landmark day. Using PSLV rocket, we achieved the launch of eight satellites. The entire mission was completed very successfully,” Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said.
This PSLV-C35 mission was the longest of the PSLV missions conducted till date and was completed in 2 hours 15 minutes and 33 seconds after lift-off. The co-passenger satellites are from Algeria, Canada and the US, as well as two satellites from Indian universities/ academic institutes. SCATSAT, which has a mission life of five years, will provide wind vector data products for weather forecast, cyclone detection and tracking services to the users.
The total number of satellites launched by PSLV has now reached 121, of which 42 are Indian and the remaining 79 are from abroad. This is the 36th consecutively successful mission of PSLV.
New orders Expanding its commercial operations, the Isro has bagged orders to launch various satellites to the tune of more than Rs 250 crore. “Our order book size for launching various foreign satellites is about Rs 280 crore,” Antrix Corporation CMD S Rakesh said on Monday. He said it would take more than two years to complete the current orders for launching satellites.
The Antrix Corporation is the commercial arm of Isro. Stating that the company is looking at consolidating the performance and achievements of Isro, he said the company closed last fiscal with a turnover of Rs 1,923 crore and is expected to close the current fiscal with a revenue of around Rs 2,000 crore.
“Discussions are on for getting more orders,” he added. Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said authorities were in discussions with others for contract manufacturing of meteorological satellites. According to him, Indian meteorological satellites have excellent capabilities.