The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) achieved another milestone in satellite launch with successfully placing eight satellites, including its own weather satellite SCATSAT-1 and seven other smaller ones with its workhorse PSLV rocket also completing its longest launch mission.
The PSLV-C35 carrying the 371-kg SCATSAT-1 along with seven other satellites, including from the US and Canada, blasted off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, at 9.12 am today.
In its first multi-orbital launch, India's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C35) successfully placed SCATSAT-1 about 17 minutes from the launch.
The other seven satellites were injected into polar orbit between 11.25 and 11.28 am after the fourth-stage engine restarted and shut off twice.
The eight satellites onboard PSLV C-35 have a combined weight of about 675 kg, Isro said, adding that the mission was completed in two hours and fifteen minutes the longest PSLV satellite launch mission of ISRO so far.
About 17 minutes into the launch, PSLV-C35 placed its main cargo SCATSAT-1 - for ocean and weather related studies -into a 730-km polar sun synchronous orbit. The remaining were injected into a lower orbit of 689 km after around two hours.
The SCATSAT-1 will help provide weather forecasting services to the user communities through the generation of wind vector products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking, Isro said.
SCATSAT-1 is a continuity mission for scatterometer payload carried by the earlier Oceansat-2 satellite.
Besides SCATSAT-1, the others are PRATHAM and PISAT, two academic satellites from India, ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N (all from Algeria) and Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, from USA and Canada, respectively.
PISAT is a nanosatellite developed by PESU, in collaboration with SKR Engineering College, Chennai; Sona College of Technology, Salem; Veltech University, Chennai and Nehru College of Engineering, Thrissur. PISAT will take snapshots of Earth, with the focus on India. The Institute of Engineers has also played its part in bringing together all these colleges.
Among the three Indian satellites launched by the PSLV today, one was the Pratham, a satellite designed and built by the students of IIT Bombay.
The satellite was conceptualized by two students of the Aerospace Engineering department of IIT Bombay, Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay and Shashank Tamaskar, as far back as in July 2007. Two years later these students signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Isro in September 2009, and later extended in 2014. A total of six students from IIT Bombay worked closely with the Isro in Bengaluru for the pre-launch of the satellite. The Indian space agency not only provided the students with all the resources for testing, but also bore all expenses for the launch.
Measuring 30.5 x 33.4 x 46.6 cm, it weighs 10.12 kg. The satellite is made of aluminum alloy and other space-grade materials, and has an on board computer. It has three monopoles, GPS, magnetometer, sun sensors, magnetorquers and is powered by Li-ion battery and four solar panels.