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ISRO milestone mission to become a reality

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Chennai:  Indian rocket carrying seven satellites, including the country’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory – ASTROSAT, is put on the 50-hour countdown for its launch on September 28.

ISRO-plans-to-launch-navigation-satellite-on-March-28-550x300

India has so far launched 45 foreign satellites for a fee. India will cross the half-century milestone on Monday once it successfully injects the six foreign satellites into their intended orbit.

According to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Saturday countdown for the launch of the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) began as scheduled at 8:00 AM.

The rocket with seven satellites will blast off on Monday at 10:00 AM from the first launch pad of the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2008, ISRO had launched 10 satellites in one go including India’s Cartosate-2A satellite. Now, ISRO will be launching seven satellites for the third time in its history.

The 44.4 metre tall 320 tonne PSLV-XL version is a four-stage rocket with six strap-on motors for additional thrust during the initial phase of the flight. The first and third stages are powered by solid fuel while the second and fourth stages are powered by liquid fuel which will be filled during the countdown. Apart from fuelling up the engines, all the systems would be checked and rechecked during the countdown.

On Thursday ISRO’s Mission Readiness Review (MRR) committee and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) cleared the 50-hour countdown.

On Monday morning the rocket will launch India’s ASTROSAT weighing 1,513 kg, apart from four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada.

The PSLV will carry a total payload of 1,631 kg during this mission. Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket will eject ASTROSAT at an altitude of 650 kms above the earth. Soon after, six other satellites will be put into orbit and the whole mission will come to an end in just over 25 minutes.

ASTROSAT, with a life span of five years, will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray components of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing through a narrow wavelength band, the agency said.

The Indonesian 76 kg LAPAN-A2 is a micro-satellite from the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, meant for providing maritime surveillance using automatic identification system (AIS), supporting Indonesian radio amateur communities for disaster mitigation and carrying out earth surveillance using video and digital camera.

The 14-kg NLS-14 (Ev9) of Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Advanced Studies, is also a maritime monitoring Canadian nano satellite using the next generation AIS.

The remaining four LEMUR nano satellites from Spire Global Inc, San Francisco, US, are non-visual remote sensing satellites, focusing primarily on global maritime intelligence through vessel tracking via AIS and high fidelity weather forecasting using GPS radio occultation technology, the ISRO said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Chandrayan-2 Expected to be Launched in Early 2019

ISRO would have two missions Chandrayan-2 by GSLV Mark 3 and the PSLV P45 launching RA-SAT 2B next year.

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Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in January-March window in 2019 Pixabay
Chandrayaan-2 to be launched in January-March window in 2019 Pixabay

India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019 instead of later this year as the design was changed to enable it land on the lunar surface, a top ISRO official said here today.

“We have planned to launch Chandrayaan mission in January 3. We are fixing with that (date) and targeting that. But that is an open window. We can go up to March also. As we are coming closer (the date), we may miss the target,” he said.

The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land on the lunar surface, he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a function, where bust of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space mission, was unveiled.

Asked why the weight of Chandrayaan-2 was increased by 600 kg, he said ISRO noticed during experiments that after the moon lander was ejected, the satellite would shake. So they decided that the design modification was required for landing and mass has to be increased.

Chandrayan 2
The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land. Flickr Commons

“We also realised that the orbiter required more phases, which required more fuel,” he told reporters.

On the space agency’s future missions, Sivan said ISRO also plans to launch 50 satellites in the next three years.

the space agency would launch 22 satellites in 2019, the maximum in any year in the history of ISRO, he said.

“Next year from February to December we plan to have 22 missions with almost two missions per month, which is a very important activity. This tight schedule of programmes we are doing for the first time.

We have set a target.We may not be able achieve but we are targeting it. So many missions in a year is a huge target for the first time in the history of ISRO,” Sivan said.

The remaining months of 2018 would also be very hectic for ISRO as it plans to launch at least two missions every month, he said.

“Our next mission is PSLV C42, which will launch NOVASAT and S1-4. These two satellites are commercial satellites from the U.K.It is a commercial mission and is planned in September. Subsequently we have two missions each month,” the ISRO chief said.

ISRO
India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 will now be launched in the January-March window in 2019. Flickr

In October this year ISRO would launch GSAT29 for the Digital India programme and hyper spectrum imaging satellites along with 30 commercial satellites, Sivan said.

The following month GSAT-7A will be launched, while in December there would be two missions,GSLV-F11 launching AMISAT and GSAT-31, a replacement for INSAT 4CR, whose life will get over by January, he said.

ISRO would have two missions Chandrayan-2 by GSLV Mark 3 and the PSLV P45 launching RA-SAT 2B next year.

The focus area of these launches was to enhance the communication so that rural India gets high bandwidth data connectivity, somewhere between 80 GBPS to 100 GBPS, he said.

Also Read: A Dozen New Moons Found Orbiting Jupiter

Asked about GSAT 6A, with which communication had been lost after its launch in March 31 this year, he said ISRO has not given up hope and was still trying to establish radar contact with the satellite.

“We have not given up hope. We will wait till a year,” he said when asked how much time ISRO would take to announce that the GSAT 6A was a failed mission. (IANS)