Proud moment

Second Edit

With the successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C15) which released five satellites into their orbits on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation has put behind the failure of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D3) in April. For over 10 years the PSLV has been a reliable workhorse and has put many satellites, both Indian and foreign, successfully into the space. Its success rate has been excellent and ISRO can deservedly be proud of its performance. Launch of multiple satellites is not new. ISRO had put into the orbit as many as 10 satellites in 2008 and set a record.

The GSLV programme is yet to be perfected as the April failure showed. According to reports, ISRO has identified the reason for failure of the GSLV rocket with an indigenous cryogenic engine as the non-availability of liquid hydrogen supply to the main engine. It plans to rectify the problem and make another flight test within an year. Monday’s launch put into orbit the satellite Cartosat 2B and four other satellites, three of them belonging to foreign countries, and a pico satellite Studsat which was designed by engineering students from Bangalore and Hyderabad. Earth observation satellites  are important for national security also as they are capable of long distance surveillance of small areas and objects of even less than a metre in size. With the launch of Cartosat 2B India has four such satellites in space which ensure continuous observation of a geographical area. The images sent from the satellite will be useful in preparing cartographic maps, monitoring development work in villages, and preparing watershed development plans. Studsat is remarkable for the involvement of students in space science and engineering. The students who were associated with it deserve congratulations.

ISRO has a number of other launches scheduled in the coming months. They also include an unmanned crew module to be launched by a PSLV in 2013 as a forerunner to sending two Indians in space. This calls for creation of more facilities, improvement of technologies and better preparations, but ISRO is confident that it will be equal to the challenge.

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