In a mission aimed at enhancing its launch capabilities by placing satellites in different orbits, the Indian Space Agency’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV-C35, carrying SCATSAT-1 and seven other satellites, lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR range, today.
The ISRO said on Sunday that the countdown for the launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota was progressing smoothly. This would be the first mission of the PSLV to launch its payloads into two different orbits, it said.
Soon after the launch, SCATSAT-1 would be positioned at an altitude of 730 km in the polar sun synchronous orbit. The satellite, with a life of five years, would provide weather forecasting services through wind-vector products.
Scientists at the Mission Control Centre, including ISRo Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, were watching the course of the flight with bated breadth, as the PSLV, would be injecting the main payload–the 371 kg SCATSAT-1–about 18 minutes after the lift off, into the Polar Sunsynchronous Orbit.
The stop-start of the rocket — while travelling at a speed of more than 2660 kmph — positions PSLV as a unique launcher in the multi-billion dollar commercial launch market. “It will open up new vistas to commercialise ISRO’s launch capabilities for two-orbit configurations,” said Dr K Sivan, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center.
The co-passenger satellites are from Algeria, Canada and USA as well as two satellites from Indian Universities/ Academic Institute.
SCATSAT-1 will be placed into a 720 km Polar SSO whereas the two universities and academic institute satellites and the five foreign satellites will be placed into a 670
km polar orbit.