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Breaking New Barriers: ISRO’s 20 Satellites Launch Mission from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh

With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers.

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Panoramic View of Fully integrated PSLV-C34 with all the 20 Spacecrafts being moved to second launch pad (SLP) Image Source:isro.gov.in
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  • The rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (PSLV) main cargo was India’s 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation with a design life of five years
  • It was the first time that ISRO is launching 20 satellites with one rocket
  • With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers

With the launch of its own Cartosat earth observation satellite and 19 other satellites on Wednesday morning, June 22, India successfully completed yet another multiple satellite launches in a single rocket mission.

“The PSLV rocket has done its job. We have current generation Cartosat satellite,” A.S.Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said soon after the launch.

“One of the main aspects of the launch is the shutting down and the restarting of the rocket’s fourth stage twice. This time we did as a trial-restarting of the engine. We did a trail in an earlier PSLV rocket,” said S. Somanath, Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

The rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (PSLV) main cargo was India’s 725.5 kg Cartosat-2 series satellite for earth observation with a design life of five years.

This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B.

The other 19 satellites weighing totally around 560 kg are from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia as well as one satellite each from Chennai’s Sathyabama University and College of Engineering, Pune.

The entire mission was over in around 26 minutes.

PSLV-C34 Take Off Image Source: isro.gov.in

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The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications.

According to ISRO, the 110 kg SkySat Gen2-1 belonging to Terra Bella, a Google company, is a small earth imaging satellite capable of capturing sub-metre resolution imagery and high definition video.

The Planet Lab’s Dove Satellites are also earth imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove satellites each weighing 4.7 kg were carried in this mission inside three QuadPack dispensers, ISRO said.

The PSLV rocket also put into orbit the 85 kg M3MSat from Canada. The technology demonstration mission is jointly funded and managed by Defence Research and Development Canada and the Canadian Space Agency.

The other satellites that were launched are: 120 kg LAPSN-A3 of Indonesia, the 130 kg BIROS, from German Aerospace Centre, Germany and the 25.5 kg GHGSat-D, Canada.

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PSLV-C34 Take Off Image Source: isro.gov.in

Exactly at 9.26 a.m. the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 320 tonne tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

Gathering speed every second the rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the ISRO officials and the media team assembled at the rocket port here.

At the rocket mission control room Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull.

Just over 17 minutes into the flight, the PSLV rocket ejected Cartosat at an altitude of around 515 km.

It was followed by the two other Indian satellites -the 1.5 kg Sathyabamasat from Sathyabama University that would collect data on green house gases and the 1 kg Swayam satellite from College of Engineering, Pune, to provide point-to-point messaging services to the HAM radio community.

Soon the other satellites were put into orbit. It was the first time that ISRO is launching 20 satellites with one rocket. In 2008, the ISRO had launched 10 satellites with the PSLV rocket.

With the success of Wednesday’s rocket mission, India has successfully launched 74 satellites for international customers. (IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This is the biggest mission launched ever in India. The last biggest mission was that by ISRO in 2008.

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)