07 May 2008

"World Record~~10 out of 1--ZOOMM!!!""

Setting a world record, India's Polar rocket on Monday(The 5th May 2008) successfully placed ten satellites.

The ten pack launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) saw 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.

At the end of the 52-hour countdown, the PSLV-C9, with a lift-off mass of 230 tonne, blasted off from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and soared into the clear sky in a textbook launch.

Fourteen minutes after lift off, the fourth stage of the ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle, in its 13th flight, injected the ten satellites, into the 635 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).

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.

This is for the first time that ISRO has put ten satellites in orbit in a single launch. This is also PSLV's twelfth successful flight.

It is for the first time in the world that ten satellites were launched in a single mission. Russia had earlier launched eight satellites together.

Besides the 690 kg Indian remote sensing satellite CARTOSAT-2A and the 83 kg Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), the rest eight Nano Satellites were from abroad.

This is the third time, the PSLV has been launched in the core alone version, without the six solid propellant first stage strap-on motors.

Terming the launch "satisfactory", ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said "all parameters worked wonderfully well."

So what did the PSLV carry??


CARTOSAT-2A is a state-of-the art remote sensing satellite with a spatial resolution of about one metre and swath of 9.6 km. The satellite carries a panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of taking black-and-white pictures
in the visible region of electromagnetic spectrum. The highly agile CARTOSAT-2A is steerable along as well as across the direction of its movement to facilitate imaging of any area more frequently.

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.[more...]

Indian Mini Satellite(IMS-1)

Indian Mini Satellite (IMS-1), flown as an auxiliary payload on board PSLV-C9, is developed by ISRO for remote sensing applications. Weighing 83 Kg at lift-off, IMS-1 incorporates many new technologies and has miniaturised subsystems. IMS-1 carries two remote sensing payloads - A Multi-spectral camera (Mx Payload) and a Hyper-spectral camera (HySI Payload), operating in the visible and near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The spatial resolution of Mx camera is 37 metre with a swath of 151 km while that of HySI is about 506 metre with a swath of about 130 km. 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.[more...]

The other 8 Nano Satellites

Eight Nanosatellites from abroad are carried as auxiliary payloads besides IMS-1 as well as CARTOSAT-2A. The total weight of these Nanosatellite payloads is about 50 Kg. Six of the eight Nanosatellites are clustered together with the collective name NLS-4. 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.[more...]

Further Reading

ISRO official website

Wiki link

PSLV--A closer look

Space n Tech


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