The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C23) lifted off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.52 am today, to launch five satellites from four countries.
ISRO's first mission to put in space all foreign satellites was witnessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi besides other dignitaries and ISRO scientists.
The five satellites are from four countries - France, Germany, Canada and Singapore.
Besides its main payload of 714 kg weighing French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7, PSLV C23 would carry 14 kg AISAT of Germany, NLS7.1 (CAN-X4) & NLS7.2 (CAN-X5) of Canada, each weighing 15 kg, and the 7 kg VELOX-1 of Singapore.
NLS 7.1 and NLS 7.2 are from the University of Toronto, Institute of Aerospace Studies / Space Flight Laboratory. Canada. Both payloads would fly in precise formation using differential GPS with centimeter-level accurate position control system.
VELOX-1 from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore is a technology demonstrator for design of image sensor, MEMS-based attitude determination and control system and inter-satellite RF link.
The satellites are being launched under commercial arrangements that Antrix Corporation has entered into with the respective foreign agencies.
India had launched another French satellite - the 712-kg SPOT-6 in 2012. The latest in the SPOT family of satellites is the SPOT-7.
Modi, who landed at the Chennai airport enroute to India's rocket port of Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday evening, said that his government was committed to giving further impetus to space programme.
The launch, originally fixed at 9.49 am IST on 30 June, had been rescheduled for 9.52 am due to the probability of space debris movement during the launch window.
ISRO has so far launched 35 satellites of foreign countries onboard its workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.