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Monday 22 January 2018

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ISRO launch facility at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. - Image credit: ISRO

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India Successfully Launches Three Satellites Into Space

NEW DELHI, India — India Wednesday successfully launched an indigenously developed rocket, carrying three satellites, including the latest remote sensing Resourcesat-2, into space from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota, a top space research official said.

The launch was particularly important as last year saw the dramatic back-to-back failures of two of the larger rockets, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, that plunged down into the Bay of Bengal.

The rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 10:12 a.m.(local time); it carried two nano satellites Youthsat and X-Sat apart from the Resourcesat-2.

“PSLV-C16 Resourcesat-2 mission is successful,” ISRO chief K. Radhakrishnan said, after all three satellites were hurled into space one after another 822 km above Earth.

While Resourcesat-2 with a five year space life will provide information on ship surveillance by making 14 orbits per day, Youthsat, a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies will study the relationship between solar variability and thermosphere-ionosphere changes.

X-Sat is a mini satellite that intends to demonstrate technologies related to satellite-based remote sensing and onboard image processing.

indian launch vehicles
India has developed four series of launch vehicle: SLV (Satellite Launch Vehicle), ASLV (Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle), PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle), and GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle).

SLV was a four-stage solid-propellant launcher developed by India. Its capability was to place a payload of 40 kg into a 400-km orbit. Its first launch took place in July 1980 and the final launch in 1983. ASLV was a five-stage solid-propellant launch vehicle. Its design was based on SLV with an augmented capability. It was launched four times and terminated to develop PSLV.

PSLV is capable of placing satellites into sun synchronous orbits or geostationary transfer orbits. PSLV is a four -stage launch vehicle that uses solid propellants for the first and third stages and liquid propellants for the second and fourth stages. It launched a lunar explorer, Chandrayaan-1, in October 2008. PSLV is India’s main launcher at present.

GSLV has been developed to place larger satellites into geostationary orbit or low Earth orbit. It adopts a cryogenic third stage and liquid propellant strap-on boosters.

sriharikota – the indian satellite launching site
These pictures were taken by the JAXA satellite ALOS (“Daichi”) in September 2010.

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On forthcoming launches, Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said ISRO was planning a series of communication and remote sensing satellite launches starting next month, while work on Chandrayaan-II, the country’s next Lunar mission, was progressing.

Chandrayaan-II is tentatively scheduled for a 2013-14 launch. Its Rover and Orbiter will be from ISRO while its Lander will come from Russia.

The mission, which will also have a few scientific instruments, will be launched from a GSLV platform, he said.

India will launch its communication satellite GSAT8 next month from French Guyana. It will be followed up with another communication satellite on a PSLV later in the year.

“We are also planning to launch a remote sensing satellite on the more challenging and major area of microwave remote sensing,” he said.

P. S. Veeraraghavan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, said India was also planning a joint venture with France for a megha-tropiques satellite for atmospheric studies.

On the failure of India”s much-touted indigenous cryogenic stage in GSLV F-06 in December 2010, he said the problem occurred after an inadvertent separation of shroud.

ISRO is now re-working designs specifications and planning for a test flight by the end of the first half of 2012.

Some tests of booster turbo pumps related to the earlier failure were successfully conducted yesterday, S. Ramakrishnan, Director, ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems center, said.

Responding to a query about India’s manned Moon mission, Narayanamoorty, a senior scientist associated with the project, said work was being done on space suit design and crew module development and a proposal had been sent to the government.

On today’s launch, he said Resourcsat-2 will be India’s “mainstay” in remote sensing as well as commercial applications.

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