Tuesday February 19, 2019
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ISRO launches five British satellites in copy book style

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Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), India successfully put into orbit five British satellites with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s XL variant (PSLV-XL) on Friday night in copy book style.

isroThis was the first commercial mission for ISRO in 2015. Exactly at 9.58 p.m., the PSLV-XL rocket, standing 44.4 meters tall and weighing around 320 tons, with a one way ticket tore into the night skies with fierce orange flames at its tail.

The expendable rocket carrying five British satellites cumulatively weighing around 1,440 kg as its luggage slung them into their intended orbit just over 19 minutes into its flight.

A.S. Kiran Kumar, ISRO Chairman, said: “An entirely successful launch for a customer. This time a set of new tool was developed. Five satellites were put into orbit for a customer.”

It was the heaviest commercial mission for the PSLV rocket till date though its total carrying capacity for such a mission is around 1,750 kg. The rocket blasted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, about 80 km from Chennai.

For the onlookers, the rocket looked like an inverted flare/torch as it lit up the night sky 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.

Of the five British satellites, three are identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites weighing 447 kg.

Of the other two satellites, CBNT-1 weighs 91 kg and also is an optical earth observation technology demonstration microsatellite, while the De-OrbitSail weighs 7 kg. This is an experimental Nano satellite for demonstration of large thin membrane sail and drag deorbiting.

Just over 17 minutes into the flight, the rocket started ejecting the DMC3 satellites one after another and they were followed by De-OrbitSail and CNBT-1 satellites.

The whole mission was completed just over 19 minutes into the flight as planned.

Immediately on the successfully ejection, scientists at the mission control center were visibly relieved and started clapping happily.

The three DMC3 and the CBNT-1 satellites are built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. The De-OrbitSail is built by Surrey Space Center.

According to ISRO, the DMC3 constellation, comprising of three advanced mini-satellites DMC3-1, DMC3-2 and DMC3-3, is designed to address the need for simultaneous high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution optical earth observation.

Launched into a single low earth orbit plane and phased with a separation of 120 degrees between them, these satellites can image any target on the earth’s surface every day.

Major application areas include surveying the resources on earth and its environment, managing urban infrastructure and monitoring of disasters.

According to ISRO, accommodating the three DMC3 satellites each with a height of about three meters within the existing payload fairing or the heat shield of the PSLV was a challenge.

Thus, a circular L-adaptor and a triangular Multiple Satellite Adapter-Version 2 (MSA-V2) were newly designed and realized by ISRO for this specific purpose.

France’s SPOT 7 satellite weighing 714 kg was the heaviest single foreign satellite carried by a PSLV rocket till now. It was launched on June 30, 2014.

Meanwhile, ISRO is also readying for the launch of GSAT6 communication satellite using its heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

The GSLV rocket’s first stage/engine has been assembled and the activities relating to that rocket assembly are progressing smoothly.

Only after the GSLV rocket launch the testing of a small model of reusable launch vehicle shaped like an aeroplane would be done, an ISRO official told IANS earlier.

Earlier, it was said the test reusable launch vehicle would happen in July.

(IANS)

Next Story

India’s 40th Communication Satellite GSAT-31 Launched Successfully by an Ariane 5 Rocket

GSAT-31 was the 23rd ISRO satellite orbited by Arianespace and Ariane-series launchers.

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Sriharikota: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s communication satellite GSAT-9 on-board GSLV-F09 lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the satellite as India's “space gift for South Asia”. PTI

India’s 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 was successfully put into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket belonging to Arianespace on early Wednesday, said Indian space agency ISRO and Arianespace.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the telecommunication satellite, GSAT-31 was successfully launched on February 06, 2019 from Kourou launch base, French Guiana by Ariane-5.

The 2,535-kg GSAT-31 would augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in geostationary orbit.

ISRO, GSAT-31
GSAT-31 was successfully put into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket. IANS

According to ISRO, GSAT-31, with a mission life of 15 years, will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH television services, cellular back haul connectivity and more.

The GSAT-31 will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites, ISRO said.

The two Ku-band beacon downlink signals are transmitted by the satellite for ground tracking purpose, it said.

According to Arianespace, it opened its 2019 mission activity by successfully orbiting a pair of telecommunications spacecraft – Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 (HS-4/SGS-1) and GSAT-31 with Ariane 5 rocket.

ISRO's satellites
GSAT-31 was successfully launched on February 06, 2019 from Kourou launch base, French Guiana by Ariane-5.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane IsraAl confirmed the success in post-launch comments from the spaceport’s control room. “For the first Ariane 5 launch of the year, our heavyweight vehicle has once more performed flawlessly,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

IsraAl said that GSAT-31 was the 23rd ISRO satellite orbited by Arianespace and Ariane-series launchers, tracing the relationship back to India’s APPLE small experimental communications spacecraft, lofted in 1981 by an Ariane 1 version.

He added: “Arianespace is honoured ISRO has entrusted Ariane 5 for two launches back-to-back, with the last Ariane 5 of 2018 launching GSAT-11, and today the first one of the year 2019, which orbited GSAT-31!”

ALSO READ: NASA To Develop Lunar Landers, Reusable Systems For Astronauts To Land Moon

With today’s success, Arianespace kicks off a busy launch schedule in 2019 — which targets up to 12 missions from the Spaceport with the heavyweight Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega. (IANS)