Sriharikota, India (SPX) Apr 29, 2008
In its thirteenth flight conducted from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota, today (April 28, 2008), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C9, successfully launched the 690 kg Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A, the 83 kg Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) and eight nanosatellites for international customers into a 637 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
PSLV-C9 in its 'core alone' configuration launched ten satellites with a total weight of about 820 kg.
After the final count down, PSLV-C9 lifted off from the second launch pad at SDSC SHAR, at 09:24 Hrs IST with the ignition of the core first stage. The important flight events included the separation of the first stage, ignition of the second stage, separation of the heatshield at about 125 km altitude after the vehicle had cleared the dense atmosphere, second stage separation, third stage ignition, third stage separation, fourth stage ignition and fourth stage cut-off.
The 690 kg main payload, CARTOSAT-2A, was the first satellite to be injected into orbit at 885 seconds after lift-off at an altitude of 637 km. About 45 seconds later, Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1) was separated after which all the nano satellites were separated in sequence. The initial signals indicate normal health of the satellites.
Soon after separation from PSLV fourth stage, the two solar panels of CARTOSAT-2A were automatically deployed. The satellite's health is continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at Bangalore with the help of ISTRAC network of stations at Bangalore, Lucknow, Mauritius, Bearslake in Russia, Biak in Indonesia and Svalbard in Norway.
High-resolution data from CARTOSAT-2A will be invaluable in urban and rural development applications calling for large scale mapping.
Indian Mini Satellite (IMS -1)
The data from this mission will be made available to interested space agencies and student community from developing countries to provide necessary impetus to capacity building in using satellite data. The versatile IMS-1 has been specifically developed to carry different payloads in future without significant changes in it and has a design life time of two years.
Nano Satellites for International Customers
The other two nanosatellites are NLS-5 AND RUBIN-8. NLS-4, developed by University of Toronto, Canada consists of six nano-satellites developed by various universities. Two of them - CUTE 1.7 and SEEDS - are built in Japan, while the other four - CAN-X2, AAUSAT-II, COMPASS-1 and DELPHI-C3 are built in Canada, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands respectively.
NLS-5 is also built by University of Toronto and RUBIN-8 is built by Cosmos International, Germany. The eight nanosatellite payloads of PSLV-C9 are built to develop nano technologies for use in satellites as well as for the development of technologies for satellite applications.
In its twelve consecutively successful flights so far, PSLV has repeatedly proved itself as a reliable and versatile workhorse launch vehicle. It has demonstrated multiple satellite launch capability having launched a total of sixteen satellites for international customers besides thirteen Indian payloads which are for remote sensing, amateur radio communications and Space capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1).
PSLV was used to launch ISRO's exclusive meteorological satellite, KALPANA-1, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in September 2002 and thus proved its versatility. The same vehicle will be used to launch Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, India's first mission to Moon during this year.
This is for the first time that ISRO has put ten satellites into orbit in a single launch. A Russian rocket last year delivered 16 satellites in the outer space but the Russian launch vehicle carried a lesser payload of only around 300 kg. However, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair told reporters that Russia had tried to launch 13 satellites in a single launch.
"We have showed the world we can have multiple launches carried out in a precise manner. We have set a record. Only Russia had so far tried to launch 13 satellites in a single launch and I am not sure whether that was successful," he told reporters here.
He said there was some anxious moments due to some unusual weather condition over the Bay of Bengal off Andaman coast. "Only at 11 pm last night we decided to go ahead with the launch."
Nair expressed happiness that all the mission objectives were achieved with precision and all systems functioned very well.
The PSLV-C9, in its total flight of 1,151 seconds, has performed extremely well. "It's much better than a text book performance. Every system functioned as per the parameters," Nair said.
The CARTOSAT-2A along with IMS-1 followed by the nano satellites were released in quick succession, he said. "We have received information from international customers that they have received signals from the satellites at their ground stations.
The mission stations at Thiruvananthapuram and Mauritius have also received information that the satellites are in good health and we hope that if everything goes right within next two days we would be able to switch on the imaging system," Nair said. He said while USD 0.6 million was charged for the nano satellites, it cost around Rs 120 crore for the CARTOSAT and Rs 22 crore for the IMS-1.
The launch comes ahead of India's plans to launch its first moon mission "Chandrayaan-I" expected later this year. On the Chandrayaan Mission, Nair said a modest satellite, weighing about 500 kg, would be launched into the lunar orbit to collect topographical data of the moon. "We hope by the third quarter of this year, we should be able to take out satellite to the moon." He said ISRO planned to induct indigenous cryogenic stage into the GSLV soon.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director K Radhakrishnan, who was also present at the launch, said ISRO had started designing space capsules to send two astronauts on a low earth orbit in the next seven years for the manned mission to space. Considering the safety of the crew and vehicle, which will be the GSLV, the design aspects were taken up very seriously and there would be an unmanned mission before sending the astronauts, Radhakrishnan said.
"The man mission is necessary for the country as Russia, China and some major European countries and the US were already in the scenario as prominent players," he said. Before the manned mission, there would be three unmanned missions which would be undertaken BY GSLV MK-III. The government had already made an initial allotment Rs 95 crore for the mission, he said.
The PSLV blasted off from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 9.24 am and fourteen minutes later, the fourth stage injected the ten satellites into the 635 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
This is the thirteenth flight of PSLV and the third with the 'core-alone' configuration, without the hugging six strap-on booster motors that powers the first stage. CARTOSAT-2A weighing about 690 kg carries a state-of-the-art Panchromatic camera (PAN) that can record high clarity images covering a swathe of 9.6 kms. It will provide data that could be used for urban and rural infrastructure management and land information systems.
The highly agile remote sensing satellite can be manoeuvred to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently. The 83 kg IMS-1, developed by ISRO, incorporated many new technologies and has miniaturised subsystems. Data from it will be shared with other developing countries. The eight Nano Satellites, built by universities and research institutions in Canada and Germany, were launched under a commercial agreement.
Source: Press Trust of India
earlier related report
The ten pack launch of the Indian Space Research Organistion(ISRO) will see the 230-tonne Polar Satellite launch Vehicle(PSLV-C9) carry the heaviest luggage--824 kgs--and put into orbit an Indian Mini Satellite and eight foreign nano satellites besides the Cartosat-2A remote sensing satellite.
The countdown for the launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 100 km from here, scheduled at 9.23 am is progressing satisfactorily, space officials said on Sunday.
The Rs 700 million PSLV-C9 will be second to a Russian rocket that delivered 16 in the outer space in April last year. But the Russian launch vehicle carried a lesser payload of only around 300 kg.
This will be the thirteenth flight of PSLV and the third flight with 'core-alone' configuration, which means the main/core PSLV rocket will be without the hugging six strap-on booster motors that powers the first stage.
CARTOSAT-2A weighing about 690 kg carries a state-of-the-art Panchromatic camera (PAN) that can record high clarity images covering a swathe of 9.6 kms. It will provide data that could be used for urban and rural infrastructure management and land information systems.
Source: Press Trust of India
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
Moscow (AFP) April 28, 2008
A rocket carrying an Israeli communications satellite was successfully launched Monday from a Russian base in Kazakhstan, television footage showed.
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