Creating history, an Indian Polar rocket today succesfully put into orbit a record 10 satellites, two Indian and eight foreign at one go in a complex mission demonstrating the country’s capabilities to launch multiple payloads into precise slots.After a textbook launch at 0923 hours from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Shriharikota, PSLV-C9 surged into the space injecting all ten satellites into the intended orbit within minutes of each other in an important milestone for the country’s space programme.The payloads together weighing 824 kg were the heaviest carried so far by the 230-tonne rocket.
A 690-kg Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Cartosat-2A was the first satellite to be successfully put into into orbit during the 12th succesful blastoff of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV) ISRO’s "reliable and vrsatile" workhorse rocket.
A 83-kg Indian mini-satellite and a cluster of eight nano-satellites, each weighing between three kgs and 16 kgs, built by research institutions from Europe, Canada and Japan were the other payloads that were offloaded.
" It is really a memorable moment. The mission was perfect and for the first time, ten satellites were launched within one mission. We have set a record. Only Russia had so far tried to launch 13 satellites in a single launch and I am not sure whether that was successful," a beaming Indian Space Researach Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair told a news conference.
The launch comes ahead of India’s plans to launch its first moon mission "Chandrayaan-I" expected later this year.
Launching so many satellites in a single mission is a good experience since it was quite an involved and complex task, a space official said.
The PSLV-C9, in its total flight duration of 19 minutes and 11 seconds, performed extremely well, Nair said.
"It’s much better than a text book performance. Every system functioned as per the parameters," he added.
The CARTOSAT-2A along with IMS-1 followed by the nano satellites were released in quick succesion, he said.
Nair said there was some anxious moments due to some unusual weather condition over the Bay of Bengal off Andaman coast.
"Only at 11 pm yesterday we decided to go ahead with the launch." Nair said, adding he was happy that all the mission objectives were achieved with precision and all systems functioned very well.
"The ISRO team has done it again. It is the PSLV’s 12th successful mission in a row and had done its mission wonderfully well again. There was not even a slightest deviation from the project trajectory path," he said amist a huge applause at the mission control centre.
Of all the missions, this was the most challenging as the fourth stage of the raoket should fire the ten satellites into the orbit one after another in a timed sequence without any collision, ISRO sources said.
" We have received information from international customers that they have received signals from the satellites at their ground stations. The mission stations at Thiruvananthapuram and Mauritius have also received information that the satellites are in good health and we hope that if everything goes right within next two days we would be able to switch on the imaging system," Nair said.
On the Chandrayaan Mission, he said a modest satellite, weighing about 500 kg, would be launched into the lunar orbit to collect topographical data of the moon.
"We hope by the third quarter of this year, we should be able to take out a satellite to the moon." Courtsey : DD NEWS