The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Friday successfully launched the sixth Cartosat-2 series satellite along with 30 nano satellites.
Isro's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle - PSLV-C38 lifted off from the Sriharikota spaceport on Friday morning with India's earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 and 30 nano satellites, including 29 from 14 different countries, which were successfully placed in their respective orbits.
A nano satellite, made by students of Noorul Islam University in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, was also on board.
With today's launch, the number of spacecraft missions launched by Isro
will go up to 90. The launch also marked the second-highest number of payloads in a single flight after Isro
launched 104 satellites onboard PSLV-C37 on February 15 this year.
After the mission was declared successful, Isro
chairman A S Kiran Kumar congratulated the scientists and added that it was not an ordinary mission.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director K Sivan said, "this mission is not a routine mission. We have some innovation in this mission".
He said, "PS4 (fourth stage) would travel 10 more orbits after ejecting all the satellites. After the satellite separation, the PS4 is going to be active for 10 more orbits. It is going to provide a very good and cost-effective platform to carry out very costly experiments. This mission has achieved the results and many such wonders are going to happen, he added.
For the last 50 days, starting from May 5, Isro
has launched three major missions of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV Mark III.
"The success of the mission shows that PSLV can do any mission, carry any number of satellites and travel multiple orbits," said Mission Director B Jayakumar.
Cartosat-2 Series Satellite undergoing Accoustic Test. Photo: Isro
"The uniqueness of the mission is that Isro demonstrated restart of the upper stage PS4. Earlier in one mission, Isro used the restart to launch satellites
in two orbits," he added.
"With this, I am sure that we will be able to put satellites and launch into multiple orbits. Certainly, it will give a lot of commercial importance to the PSLV," said Jayakumar.
Isro accomplished two major missions in a span of 18 days in June, which is a record.
Satish Dhawan Space Centre director P Kunhikrishnan said, "The mission clearly demonstrates the reliability of the launch vehicle."
Fully integrated core stage along with strap-ons of PSLV-C38 inside Mobile Service Tower. Photo: Isro
The primary Cartosat-2 series satellite is a remote sensing satellite. The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, change detection to bring out geographical and man-made features and various other land information system as well as geographical information system (GIS) applications.
The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries namely, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, United Kingdom, and the United States of America as well as from India. The total weight of all these satellites carried on-board PSLV-C38 is about 955 kg. The 29 International customer Nano satellites are being launched as part of the commercial arrangements between Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), Isro's commercial arm.
Panaromic view of fully integrated PSLV-C38 at First Launch Pad. Photo: Isro
The Indian nano satellite, the 15 kg NIUSAT, belongs to Tamil Nadu's Nooral Islam University. It will provide multi-spectral imagery for agricultural crop monitoring and disaster management support applications.
Cartosat-1, the first in the series of Earth observation satellites, was launched on May 5, 2005, using the PSLV-C6 launch vehicle, followed by Cartosat-2 on January 10, 2007. The launch of more satellites will help the country to become self-reliant and reduce the cost of getting such images from external sources.