Satellites

ISRO to launch eight satellites using PSLV on 26 September

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MUMBAI: It will be the second satellite launch this month for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). On 26 September 2016 at exactly 9:12 am the PSLV C35 will blast off from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. It will mark the 37th mission and 15 th flight of the PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors) which will put eight satellites into orbit.

ISRO will, with the PSLV C35, be undertaking its longest launch and probably most complicated mission ever attempted as it is using the same rocket to launch satellites into two different orbits. The Scatsat-1 satellite, weighing 371 kg for ocean and weather related studies, will be hurled into polar sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 730 km 17 minutes after liftoff.

Two Indian universities/ academic institute satellites (Pratham-10kg, IIT – Bombay and Pisat-5.25 kg, PES University, Bengaluru and its consortium) and five foreign satellites will be placed into a 670 km polar orbit. The five co-passenger satellites are from Algeria (three of them - Alsat-1B 103kg, Alsat-2B 117kg, Alsat-1N 7kg), Canada (NLS-19, 8kg) and the US (Pathfinder-44kg).

What makes the mission complicated is that once Scatscat-1 is launched, the fourth stage engine of the PSLV-C35 will come to a halt. India’s space agency will then keep a tab on the engine health from the ground and will restart it after about 60 minutes for another 20 seconds which will give it the required thrust to take the rocket into the next orbit and release the payload of seven satellites. ISRO has planned to attempt 'multiple burn technology' as it is an effective method in cutting costs during satellite launches.

Earlier this month on 8 September, IISRO had successfully launched its weather satellite INSAT-3DR, a two tonner, using the GSLV-F05, the tenth flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), The launch took place from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre. It was significant because it was the first operational flight of GSLV carrying Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS). The indigenously developed CUS was carried on-board for the fourth time during a GSLV flight in the GSLV-F05 flight.

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