Chennai, October 16:
ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle has done it again. Exactly at 1.32 am on Thursday in the backdrop of a half moon, PSLV-C26 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota lighting up the night sky in crimson red, and exactly 20.25 minutes later, placed India’s navigation satellite IRNSS-1C in its precise orbit. This was the 28th flight of the PSLV and the seventh successful flight of its extended version.
Minutes after the mission was declared a success to the cheer of hundreds of scientists at the Mission Control Room of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, ISRO chairman K. Radhakrishnan announced that the injection of the satellite into its orbit had been ‘very precise’. “Our PSLV has done it again,” he said.
Congratulating the entire team of scientists gathered at the Mission Control Room, Radhakrishnan said that the PSLV vehicle was integrated at Sriharikota with a record time of 60 days as had been promised. “A team of more than 1000 members worked round the clock for more than four days to make this mission possible,” he said.
Mission Director K.P. Kunhikrishnan said the satellite went into a very precise orbit, with an perigee of 282 km and an apogee of 20,670 km.
Minister of State, PMO Mr. Jitendra Singh who was present at the launch said that the country was actually realizing the PM’s vision of Make in India through ISRO’s space technology. “Any role in world leadership should be based on a sound scientific foundation. In space technology, we have truly emerged as world leaders,” he said.
ISRO chairman later announced that the most significant launch of the year for ISRO, the GSLV-Mark III will take place within the next 45 days.
GSLV Mark III has been conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4500 to 5000kg. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market. The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for Geostationary Transfer Orbit, Low Earth Orbit, Polar and intermediate circular orbits.
According to ISRO, GSLV-Mk III is designed to be a three stage vehicle, with 42.4 m tall with a lift off weight of 630 tonnes. It will also carry an unmanned crew module, which is a forerunner to India sending its astronauts into space.
The IRNSS-1C, the third of the seven navigation satellites in the Indian Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), has wide-ranging applications in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. From vehicle tracking to fleet management and from disaster management to mapping, the satellite extends services to its clients.
The IRNSS-C1 carried two types of payloads, one for transmitting navigation service signals to the users and another consisting of a C-band transponder to facilitate Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.
The first two satellites in the series, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B were launched from Sriharikota on July 1 2013 and April 4 this year respectively. The next satellite IRNSS-1D in the Indian Navigational Satellite system is also likely to be launched before the end of the year.