PSLV - C4 takes off successfully

MUMBAI: India's workhorse satellite launch vehicle, PSLV took off on schedule with its Metsat payload from the Sriharikota launch site in south India this afternoon.

PSLV-C4 is the seventh flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and its first to place Metsat, the 1,060 kg satellite, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). Metsat, the first exclusive meteorological satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), is meant to be a precursor to the future Insat system that will have separate satellites for meteorology, telecommunication and broadcasting services. The launch of Metsat will not only prove the versatility of PSLV to launch both polar and geostationary satellites, but will also enable India to launch communication and meteorology satellites as well as remote sensing satellites of different weight classes, claims Isro.

The flight path of PSLV-C4 has been modified to inject the Metsat into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit of 250-km perigee (nearest point to Earth) and 36,000 km apogee (farthest point to Earth). The general health of the satellite will be monitored by a ground station of the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command network (ISTRAC) located on the Indonesian island of Biak and the post launch operations will be controlled by the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka . Ground stations at Lake Cowichan (Canada), Fucino (Italy) and Beijing (China) will support MCF in monitoring the health of the satellite and its orbit raising operations.

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