ISRO launches five satellites at one go

Ramya Manoharan | TNN

Sriharikota: Bouncing back from the setback of the unsuccessful launch of GSLV-D3 on April 15, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday sent PSLV-C15 soaring into space to place in orbit Cartosat-2B, a remote sensing satellite with applications in mapping and infrastructure planning.

It was another copybook launch of Isro’s trusted workhorse PSLV, which lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 9.22am. About 17 minutes later, it injected the 694-kg Cartosat-2B and four other satellites into orbit. Mission director Kunhi Krishnan said, “The mission to inject five satellites into a sun-synchronous orbit was precise. All four stages performed well. Performance of the computers was good and all the events of ignition and separation happened at the predicted time.”

PSLV-C15, earlier slated for launch on May 9, was rescheduled after scientists noticed a marginal drop in pressure in the second stage of the vehicle in April. At the end of the over 51-hour countdown, the 44-metre-tall four-stage PSLV-C15, costing Rs 260 crore placed five satellites in orbit, one after another. PSLV-C15 also launched Algeria’s 116-kg Alsat-2A, Canada’s 6.5 kg NLS-6.1 and Aissat-1, Switzerland’s NLS-6.2 Tisat, and picosatellite Studsat designed by 35 undergraduate engineering students from seven colleges in Bangalore and Hyderabad. A PSLV core-alone vehicle was used to launch the Rs 175-crore Cartosat-2B and international payloads worth Rs 160 crore.

HIGH FIVE

Satellites launched include India’s Cartosat-2B, a remote sensing satellite with applications in mapping and infrastructure planning

Studsat, a picosatellite designed by engg students from B’lore and Hyderabad

One satellite each from Algeria, Canada and Switzerland Isro plans 2013 test mission before putting Indian in space

Sriharikota: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch an unmanned space mission to orbit around the earth in 2013 as a prelude to its manned mission.

Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan made this announcement at a press conference announcing the successful launch of PSLV-C15 on Monday. “We are planning to send two humans into space and bring them back successfully,” he said. “Work on this project is being done in phases, with the first phase comprising the setting up of critical technologies and then ensuring that the facilities are reliable and have a good human rating. For this, we need a habitable crew module capsule, a life-support system, and an escape system for the humans in case the launch has to be aborted. Specifications are being drawn up.”

The mission to send a human into space will require augmentation of facilities at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here to include a third launch pad, an astronaut training centre and a support system to take care of crew members before and after the mission. The estimated cost for all the facilities and resources is Rs 1,000 crore. The government has sanctioned Rs 90 crore for the preproject activity. The preliminary design for the third launch pad has been proposed to the government.