Wednesday November 20, 2019
Home India ISRO upbeat a...

ISRO upbeat after successful launch of six Singaporean satellites

0
//

Sriharikota: India on Wednesday successfully launched six Singaporean satellites. As the Indian space agency achieved the milestone of its 50th rocket launch from here, its chief said they are now looking at the way forward and have a lot more to achieve.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’s core alone (PSLV-CA) variant — standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing around 227 tonnes — took off from the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from Chennai. It rose into the evening skies, riding majestically on the tail of fierce orange flames.

Expressing satisfaction at ISRO’s performance in 2015, the space agency’s chairman A S Kiran Kumar said it was now way forward to 2016.

ISRO will carry on the activity of putting satellites — both communication and earth observation variants — into orbit, he said.

“We have a lot more to achieve next year,” he said.

Another official said with Wednesday’s successful blast-off, ISRO also achieved the milestone of its 50th rocket launch out of Sriharikota.

Besides launching the six Singaporean satellites, ISRO also tested the rocket’s fourth stage/engine’s ability to restart after it was cut off around 17 minutes into the flight.

Technically speaking, India was testing a multiple burn fuel stage/rocket engine for the first time.

“The restart and shut off of the fourth stage engine is done as a first step towards launching multiple satellites but in different orbits,” an ISRO official told IANS, declining to be named.

Launching multiple satellites with a single rocket is nothing new for ISRO and it has been doing that for several years now. The challenge is, however, to put several satellites into different orbits with one rocket.

This is what ISRO plans to test when the PSLV-CA ejects the six Singaporean satellites.

The PSLV rocket is a four-stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively.

“Restarting a rocket engine soon after it is shut off is a critical technology that has to be mastered. Once a rocket engine is activated, then the heat generated is very high. The trick is to cool it down in space and to restart it after a short gap,” an industry expert said.

“This is entirely different from switching on and off the communication satellite’s engines in space. The interval between two restarts of a communication satellite engine will be in days. But in the case of restarting a rocket engine, the time gap will be in hours,” the expert added.

“By that time, the rocket’s engine has to be cooled down. This part of the experiment is very critical,” he explained.

The PSLV’s fourth stage/engine will be restarted just over 67 minutes into the flight or 50 minutes after the engine was cut off.

At the time of restart, the fourth stage will be in a lower altitude of 523.9 km while the satellites would have been ejected at 550 km altitude.

The engine will be operated for four seconds and is planned to go up to an altitude of 524 km before it is cut off again.

In December 16 blast-off, ISRO is using the ‘core alone’ variant of the PSLV rocket. The rocket did not have the strap-on boosters, its standard feature.

With the successful launch of the six Singaporean satellites, ISRO has put a total of 57 foreign satellites into space.

Out of the six satellites, the 400 kg earth observation satellite called TeLEOS-1 is the main passenger for the PSLV rocket and hence the mission is called TeLEOS mission by ISRO.

TeLEOS-1 is Singapore’s first commercial earth observation satellite designed and developed by ST Electronics.

The other five co-passenger satellites are VELOX-C1 (123 kg), VELOX-II (13 kg), Kent Ridge-1 (78 kg), Galassia (3.4 kg) and Athenoxat-1.

The December 16 mission is the last launch mission for ISRO in 2015.

So far in 2015, ISRO has launched 14 satellites (three Indian and 11 foreign) from its rocket port in Sriharikota. Thirteen satellites were launched with PSLV rocket and one communication satellite — GSAT-6 — with geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV).

Last month, India also launched its communication satellite GSAT-15 using the Ariane rocket of the European space agency which takes the total number of satellite launches in 2015 to 21 (17 foreign, four Indian).(IANS, Image: thecampusconnect)

Next Story

SpaceX Launches 60 Mini Satellites for Cheaper Global Internet

The Falcon rocket blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX

0
SpaceX, Satellites, Global
FILE - A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, with a payload of 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network, lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 23, 2019. VOA

SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage.

The Falcon rocket blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX. The compact flat-panel satellites – just 575 pounds (260 kilograms) each – will join 60 launched in May.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern U.S. and Canada, with global coverage for populated areas after 24 launches.

Last month, Musk used an orbiting Starlink satellite to send a tweet: “Whoa, it worked!!”

SpaceX, Satellites, Global
SpaceX employees work on the Crew Dragon spacecraft that will astronauts to and from the International Space Station, from American soil, as part of the agency’s commercial crew Program, in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. VOA

Employees gathered at company bases on both coasts cheered when the first-stage booster landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic.

“These boosters are designed to be used 10 times. Let’s turn it around for a fifth, guys,” company’s launch commentator said.

This also marked the first time SpaceX used a previously flown nose cone. The California-based company reuses rocket parts to cut costs.

Stacked flat inside the top of the rocket, the newest satellites were going to maneuver even higher following liftoff, using krypton-powered thrusters. SpaceX said there was a potential problem with one of the 60 that could prevent it from moving beyond its initial 174 mile-high (280 kilometer-high) orbit. In that case, the faulty satellite will be commanded to re-enter and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere.

Also Read- Macron Says Global Political System in Unprecedented Crisis

Each satellite has an autonomous system for dodging space junk. In September, however, the European Space Agency had to move one of its satellites out of the way of a Starlink satellite. SpaceX later said it corrected the problem.

SpaceX is among several companies interested in providing broadband internet coverage worldwide, especially in areas where it costs too much or is unreliable. Others include OneWeb and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.

According to Musk, Starlink revenue can help SpaceX develop rockets and spacecraft for traveling to Mars, his overriding ambition. (VOA)