Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday launched PSLV-C20 carrying seven satellites — Indo- French satellite SARAL and six other mini and micro satellites from itsspaceport in Sriharikota.After a five minute delay, India’s most successful Launch Vehicle soared into the skies.
The 44.4 metres tall rocket with a mass weight of 229.7 tonnes blasted off majestically over the Bay of Bengal and the first stage separated successfully after 113 seconds.
President Pranab Mukherjee who witnessed the launch and applauded ISRO’s efforts in putting to skies the PSLV carrying seven satellites with the main passenger being SARAL an Indo-French satellite aimed at oceanography studies.
There were six foreign mini and micro satellites onboard ISRO’s workhorse rocket PSLV.
Also present were Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kirankumar Reddy, besides ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan and other officials.
This is the 23rd mission of PSLV, which has a fine record of 21 consecutive successful flights. This is the ninth time ISRO is using the ‘core alone’ variant of the rocket which will not have strap-on motors.
SARAL (Satellite with ARGOS and ALTIKA) is an ISRO-CNES (France) joint Venture for oceanography studies.
The other six auxiliary payloads are from Canada (2), Austria (2), Denmark (1) and UK (1).
The ISRO-built SARAL is a 410-kg satellite with payloads Argos and Altika from French space agency CNES for study of ocean parameters towards enhancing the understanding of the ocean state conditions.
ISRO has provided the satellite bus (satellite frame) and built the satellite.
SARAL will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research, the officials said.
Altimeter (Altika) would help study the sea surface heights while Argos payload is a satellite-based data collection platform.