Home English ISRO’s 42nd PSLV successfully puts 31 satellites in orbit
The 42nd Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), PSLV-C40, was launched successfully on Friday by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from the First Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota and it placed 31 satellites across two orbits.
The PSLV, launched at 9.29 a.m., had as its primary payload the country’s fourth satellite in the remote sensing Cartosat-2 series, weighing 710 kg. The 30 other co-passenger smaller satellites, together weigh 613 kg. Of them, 28 are from other countries.
The Cartosat-2, whose imagery will be used to develop various land and geographical information system applications, was placed in a circular polar sun synchronous orbit 505 km from the Earth. The satellite’s design life is five years.
Two technology demonstrators
It is the two other Indian satellites in the payload that have generated much excitement. Both are called technology demonstrators, indicating significant strides in miniaturisation.
Of the two, one is a microsatellite of the 100 kg class. “This is a technology demonstrator and the forerunner for future satellites of this series,” the ISRO said.
The other one, a nanosatellite, named Indian Nano Satellite (INS) – 1C, is the third in its series; its predecessors were part of the PSLV-C37 launch of February 2017. The INS-1C, whose mission life is six months, carries the Miniature Multispectral Technology Demonstration payload from the Space Applications Centre. “With a capability to carry up to 3 kg of payload and a total satellite mass of 11 kg, it offers immense opportunities for future use,” the ISRO said.
Of the 28 foreign satellites, launched as part of deals made by ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation Limited, three were microsatellites and 25 nanosatellites. There were 19 satellites from the United States and five from South Korea. The United Kingdom, France, Canada and Finland had a satellite each.
The CMD of Antrix had told The Hindu that the PSLV carried three important proof-of-concept microsats.
The ISRO had seen its launch of August 31, 2017 being recorded as a failure. The heat shield of PSLV-C39 did not separate, resulting in satellite separation occurring within the shield. It was only the second total failure of the PSLV in nearly 24 years: the PSLV-D1, in its maiden flight, failed on September 20, 1993.