Sriharikota (AP) :
The Indian Space Research Organisation successfully launched the PSLV-C44, carrying India’s military satellite Microsat-R and students’ payload Kalamsat, at 11.37 night precisely from Satish Dhavan Space centre, Sriharikota on Thursday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launchpad at 11.37 pm at the end of a 28-hour countdown and soared into the clear and starry night sky, in the first mission for ISRO in 2019.
In its 46th flight, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) would place the 740-kg primary satellite Microsat-R, an imaging satellite meant for military purposes, in a 274-km polar sun synchronous orbit about 14 minutes after the lift-off, the ISRO said.
ISRO scientists broke into celebration at the mission control centre here, about 130 km from Chennai, as the Microsat-R was released in a 274-km polar sun synchronous orbit, marking another success story for the space agency. Microsat R has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories. Former ISRO chairmen Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan and AS Kiran Kumar were among those who witnessed the launch.
The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students’ payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit, around 450 kms from earth, so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.
The ISRO said it would take about 90 minutes for the fourth stage to reach the desired orbit.Microsat-R, an imaging satellite, is meant for military purposes, but the ISRO did not give any details about it.
Built at a cost of around Rs 12 lakh, the Kalamsat is an experimental satellite for studying the communication system of nano satellites, which can be useful in many fields, predominantly disaster management. The PSLV C44 is the first launch for the country’s space agency in 2019.
The PSLV-C44, assembled in 30 days, was the first mission of a new variant of the PSLV, called the PSLV-DL, as it was equipped with two strap-on configurations, the ISRO said.
Usually, PSLVs were launched without any strap-ons (boosters) or were equipped with six strap-ons fixed around the rocket, but the ISRO, for the first time, used only two boosters for the mission, an official of the space agency said.He added that for the first time, the ISRO placed a satellite — Microsat-R — in a lower orbit, at around 274 kms from earth.
Contributed by college students and the members of a Chennai-based organisation — Space Kidz India — Kalamsat is the first to use PS4 (the fourth stage of the vehicle) as a platform to orbit around the earth.
With this, the PSLV, basically a four-stage vehicle with alternating solid and liquid stages, has launched 54 Indian and 269 satellites of international customers.
After this, the stage four of the rocket with the Kalamsat, a 10-CM size cube and weighing 1.2 kg, moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments using the tiny payload.
Kalamsat is said to be the lightest satellite of India.
The notable aspects of this space mission are the flying of a new variant of PSLV, switching off and on the fourth engine a couple of times and the use of the fourth stage as an orbital platform carrying Kalamsat. Kalamsat is a ten cm cube weighing one kilogram communication satellite with a life span of two months.