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Isro's PSLV-C40 successfully places 31 satellites in two different orbits

PSLV-C40 placed 31 satellites -- Cartosat-2 Series, Microsat, 28 foreign nanosatellites and an Indian nanosatellite -- in orbits

satellite
PSLV-C40 carrying Cartosat series, along with 30 other satellites, lifts off from the Sriharikota launch pad, on Friday. The lift-off marks ISRO’s 100th launch | Photo: PTI

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has started the new year with a successful note by successfully launching PSLV-C40, which was carrying India's earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 along with 30 nano satellites. The foreign statellites belong to Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and USA.

Isro's chairman designate K Sivan said that today's launch is a green flag for some of the important launches including Chandrayaan-2, GSLV MK-II among others in 2018.

A S Kiran Kumar, chairman, Isro said, "Isro is starting 2018 with the successful launch of Cartosat-2, which he says is Isro's New Year gift to the country. The launch was satisfactory and few important launches are to be followed during the year."

Isro's workhorse PSLV has successfully launched 31 Satellites in a Single Flight ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 42nd flight.

The flight, designated as PSLV-C40, successfully lifted off at 0929 hrs IST from the First Launch Pad of Sriharkota space port, near Chennai on Friday with the 710 kg Cartosat-2 Series Remote Sensing Satellite along with 30 co-passenger satellites.

After a flight lasting 16 minutes 37 seconds, the satellites achieved the Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 503 km inclined at an angle of 97.55 degree to the equator. In the succeeding seven minutes, Cartosat-2 series satellite, INS-1C and 28 customer satellites successfully separated from the PSLV in a predetermined sequence. The fourth stage of PSLV-C40 fired twice for short durations to achieve a polar orbit of 365 km height in which India's Microsat successfully separated.

After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 series satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru took over the control of the satellite.

So far, PSLV has successfully launched 51 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.

On multiple orbit launch, which was carried out in this mission, Kumar said, it gives PSLV a significant advantage over many other launchers.

Firstly, by virtue of being able to carry smaller satellites, which require to go along with some other satellites. If the launch vehicle takes it to only one orbit, the number of opportunities available for these smaller satellites to get into orbit is huge. That is where the capability of the launch vehicle to put it into multiple orbits is definitely a big advantage. 

2018 pipeline

"We have some exciting launches coming up including Chandrayaan 2, GSLV MKIII and GSLV MKII" said Isro chairman-designate Sivan.

Kumar said Isro is targeting at least one launch a month.

He added, it is a huge challenge as the supply chain has to be managed, the complete chain of inputs required for assembly and integration has to be done.

For the communication satellite -- GSLV Mark II -- first stage is already assembled. It is targeted for some time next month, whihc will be followed by Mark III, then a PSLV carrying IRNSS I9.

Another very important satellite this year is the GSAT 11, which will give us about 32 beams covering India and almost 40 Gbps capacity, which is a significant improvement.

In addition to that SAT is working on a high throughput satellite, as part of the next generation GSLV Mark III.

"We are trying to push the launch to such an extent that we have at least three of the GSLV category and nine of PSLV category in a year," said Kumar.

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