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PSLV-C18 puts four satellites in orbit

Thursday, October 13, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate

Along with Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques, PSLV-C18 rocket on Wednesday successfully placed in orbit three nano satellites —VesselSat1-1 from Luxembourg, SRMSat from SRM University, Chennai, and Jugnu from IIT, Kanpur

[caption id="attachment_4997" align="alignright" width="318" caption="PSLV-C18 lifts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on Wednesday. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan"][/caption]

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C18) demonstrated its reliability once again when it put successfully four satellites in orbit on Wednesday. The satellites were: Megha-Tropiques, an Indo-French satellite to study the weather and climate in the tropical region of the world; SRMSat built by the students of SRM university, near Chennai; Jugnu, built by the students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur; and Vesselsat from Luxembourg. This was the 19th consecutively successful mission of the PSLV out of 20 launches from 1993.

It was a flawless a mission with the PSLV-C18 rising from the first launch pad at the spaceport at Sriharikota at the scheduled time of 11 a.m. As the vehicle sped up from the launch pad, it disappeared briefly into the clouds to knife out into the sky again. Applause broke out in the Mission Control Centre as the four stages of the vehicle ignited on time and fell into the Bay of Bengal. At the end of more than 21 minutes of flight, the PSLV-C18 first catapulted the 1,000 kg Megha-Tropiques satellite into a precise orbit at an altitude of 867 km. The satellite was slung into orbit at a velocity of more than 26,000 km an hour. A few seconds later, SRMSat flew out, followed by VesselSat and Jugnu.


K. Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organistion (ISRO) called it “a grand success". P.S. Veeraraghavan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said the latest success demonstrated the consistency of the PSLV rocket. S. Ramakrishnan, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, ISRO, described the flight as “one more magnificent mission from the PSLV.”

Dr. G. Raju, project Director, Megha-Tropiques, said the satellite’s solar-panels had deployed and the satellite was in good health. The satellite would have a life-span of five years. T.K. Alex, Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, said that even though SRMSat and Jugnu were small satellites, they were complex spacecraft built by the students.

Predicting the monsoon

Megha-Tropiques, with four scientific instruments, will help in predicting the Indian monsoons, floods, cyclones and droughts, besides estimating the weather in the short-term and climate in the long-term in the tropical countries of the world. The 11-kg SRMSat will address the problem of global-warming and the pollution levels in the atmosphere by monitoring the carbon-dioxide present there. The 3-kg Jugnu isa remote-sensing satellite that will minor vegetation and water-bodies. VesselSat will help in locating ships cruising in the sea-lanes of the world.

~The Hindu

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