ISRO LAUNCHES 31 SATELLITES IN SINGLE FLIGHT
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has started the new year by successfully launching the PSLV- C40, which was carrying India's earth observation satellite, Cartosat2, and 30 foreign statellites — belonging to Canada, Finland, France, Korea, UK and USA.
Isro chairman- designate K Sivan said the launch was a green flag for some of important launches planned this year, including Chandrayaan-2 and the GSLV MK-II. This was the workhorse PSLV’s 42nd flight. It lifted off at 9:29 am from the Sriharikota space port near Chennai.
After a flight lasting 16 minutes and 37 seconds, the satellites achieved polar synchronous orbit at 503 km. In the succeeding seven minutes, the Cartosat-2 series satellite INS-1C and the other customer satellites successfully separated from PSLV in a predetermined sequence.
After separation, the two solar arrays of Cartosat-2 deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru took over its control.
So far, PSLV has successfully launched 51 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.
On the multiple orbit launch, A S Kiran Kumar, Isro's chairman, said it gave the PSLV a significant advantage over many other launchers. “We have some exciting launches coming up, including Chandrayaan 2, GSLV MKIII and GSLV MKII," said Sivan. Kumar said the target was at least one launch a month.
For the communication satellite, GSLV Mark II, the target is next month, followed by the Mark III and then a PSLV carrying IRNSS-I9.
“We are trying to have at least three of the GSLV category and nine of PSLV in a year. It is a tough task,” said Kumar.