PSLV successfully deploys 31 satellites; ISRO announces big space victory

Cartosat launch
Sriharikota: Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) blasts off with remote sensing Cartosat and 30 other satellites, including 28 from six nations from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on Jan. 12, 2018 IANS

PSLV has successfully deployed India's Remote Sensing Satellite Cartosat-2F and other 30 satellites in its Polar Sun Synchronous Orbit after its 16 minutes and 37-second flight on January 13. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has officially declared the mission's success and stated that the Cartosat satellite is showing satisfactory performance.

The mission was launched on January 12, 2018, at 9.29 A.M. from Satish Dhawan Space Station in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO has announced that the satellites have been launched into the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 503 km inclined at an angle of 97.55 degrees to the equator. The satellites were successfully detached in seven minutes from the PSLV launcher in a predetermined sequence. India's microsat satellite has been separated at a height 367 km during the fourth stage of the mission.

Cartosat-2F is the 6th satellite of India's Cartosat-2 remote sensing satellite series. Cartosats has strategic earth observation functions for civil and military applications and was built indigenously with various cartographic, urban and rural applications. These applications will be useful in monitoring coastal land use, regulation and utility management, monitoring roads, water distribution, in preparation for land use maps, identification of geographical and man-made features.

Watch video of the launch and release of payloads from the satellite from ISRO's official page.

The 42nd PSLV mission also had 28 foreign satellites from 6 other countries including Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK, and the USA. The payload includes 25 nanosatellites and 3 microsatellites. India has also launched one microsatellite and one nanosatellite during the mission.

The launcher has also carried India's 100th satellite to its orbit. In total, the vehicle carried a payload of 1,323 Kg. Cartosat-2F alone weighs 710 Kg while the combined weight of other satellites accounts for 613 Kg. Originally scheduled for January 10, the launch had been postponed to January 12.

The current launch is marked as a major comeback for the PSLV launcher which has been considered as India's most trusted launch vehicle. PSLV had faced a failure on August 31, 2017 during the launch of IRNSS-1H, the eighth satellite to India's Regional Navigation Satellite System. Otherwise, the PSLV vehicle has launched 39 missions consecutively and successfully, including India's Lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 and Mars mission Mangalyaan 1 to the respective planets.

ISRO has planned to use the launch vehicle for a series of mission during the first phase of 2018. The space agency has also planned for several major missions including the launch of its second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2.

This article was first published on January 13, 2018